14/05/2019

Role Of Technology In Education

We all know about the adorable aesthetics of rabbits. At present, eight genera of rabbits are to be found in the world, of which the Amami rabbit of Japan already faces extinction. They are known for having fuzzy pelts and fine hair that may be commercially used to create fur products.

In addition, rabbits are known for being extremely meek and relatively slower mammals that can hardly protect themselves from the various attacks that are posed on them. Their essential harmless nature makes them an easy victim of the worldwide animal fur industry. In fact, it has been accurately surmised that rabbit fur constitutes the fastest growing part of the worldwide fur trade. This proves to be a deplorable statistic end to one of the most playful and innocent animals that nature has on offer.

In the wild, rabbits frequent the meadows, grasslands, and other landscapes that have ample provisions for their survival. This makes rabbit warrens very easy to locate. Their underground burrows also alert hunters about their nesting extent. Owing to the fact that they usually live in packs, situating a single rabbit hole proves to be very lucrative for these hunters, as they can capture multiple rabbits from a single warren or interconnected ones.

The majority of the rabbit population is found in North America. This makes this continent one of the major producer and exporter of rabbit fur in the world. Along with North America, many European nations also pride themselves with the vain statistics of being a major player in the global rabbit fur industry.

Since a rabbit has a petite anatomy, about 30 to 40 rabbits need to be slaughtered to produce an average fur coat. Such a despicable fact places much pressure on wild-rabbit hunters. Consequently, extensive rabbit fur farms have cropped up in several parts of the world. Herein, rabbits are especially bred in torturous circumstances, just so that they can whet the cruel appetites of some superficial fashionista.

As far as commercial fur farming is concerned, the genus of rabbits that is most in demand is that of the Rex rabbits. Rex Rabbits may be of two kinds. While the Castor Rex exhibits a brownish color, and is the more expensive variety, the Chinchilla Rex provides the cheaper alternative. Other than these, another breed that has also proved to be highly popular is that of the Orylag rabbits, which are especially farmed in France for their fur as well as their meat.

This is a truly horrid instance of animal cruelty at its worst. In fact, mortality rates in rabbit farms happen to be very high. While the Rex rabbits exhibit a mortality rate of 10 to 15%, the mortality rate among Orylag rabbits is as high as 25 to 35%.

Countless ordeals and traumas are in store for these harmless rabbits in fur farms. In a rabbit fur farm, breeding rabbits are managed for 3 years. During this time, they are forced to reproduce at least twice a year. After the birth of their kits, the mother rabbits are forcibly separated from their offspring within 4 weeks. Such separations are continued for lengthy periods of time. In fact, mothers are only permitted to enter the nursing area during unstable feeding times. Such malicious partitions, which go against the natural course of mammary nursing, put the mothers under a great deal of stress. As a result, it is not uncommon for mother rabbits to show symptoms of derangement that might at times manifest itself in the form of cannibalism, wherein the mother may eat her young.

The fate of the children is also as horrible as that of their mothers. Whatever be their kind, all breeds of this helpless mammal are kept in abominable conditions. They are restrained in bare wire mesh cages that are too small to allow them the liberty to move about freely - something that they are instinctively programmed to do because of their natural reflexes. In fact, the cages for single rabbits have the measly dimension of about two shoeboxes. Sometimes as many as 12 rabbits are crammed into an enclosure that is only a third larger than the aforementioned single-rabbit cage size.

Owing to such poor and inhuman living conditions, many rabbits develop spinal deformations, broken bones, and appalling skin lesions. Further, the mesh flooring of the cages creates sore hocks, and other infectious paw injuries. Many of them are also afflicted by respiratory diseases, caused by poor ventilation. As a result, a considerable percentage of the rabbits lose their lives, much before reaching the slaughterhouse.

The slaughterhouse, in itself, is the representative vortex of inexcusable animal cruelty. These animals are often killed by incurring blows with heavy sticks before their throats are slits. At other places, these naturally docile and helpless animals are stunned by electric instruments. In view of the horrific way in which multiple rabbits are restrained in vertically piled crates, as they watch their brethren being slaughtered, while they, themselves, writhe and bleed in rabbit excrements, these fur farms can be rightly equated with modern day animal torture chambers.

While the Rex variety of rabbits are more common in the world, the more exclusive and expensive rabbit furs that adorn the wardrobe of the rich and famous are actually extracted from Orylag rabbits. These rabbits are the products of 15 years of genetic engineering endeavor that was undertaken by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA).

The fur of these rabbits is known for being softer, shinier, and more resistant to the ravages of natural elements. Owing to this, these rabbits are only bred in a select few farms in France that maintain strict standards of quality. From here on, they are often transported to the design studios of some of the biggest fashion labels in the world.

The Orylag mothers are known for producing 7 - 12 babies at a time. After she has reproduced, she goes through forcible artificial insemination after only a few days.

Though such rabbits are considered to be bred in ethically acceptable conditions, they are, in fact, subjected to the very same kind of ruthless treatment that their Rex counterparts experience. Like the Rex rabbits, the Orylag rabbits are also separated from their mothers at four weeks. From this time until till their seventh week, they live with their siblings. Finally, they are placed in solitary cages, so as to prevent fighting (a physical manifestation of their psychological distress) and damage to their pelts. Once they are about 20 weeks old, they are slaughtered in cold blood.

There is little awareness among people about the conditions at rabbit fur farms. Even if many people know about the consequences of their fur purchases, very few of them have the conscience to say 'NO' to such products. This is evidenced in the fact that the rabbit fur sales have grown over the years.

While traders continue with their mad lust for money, countless rabbits are being killed to satiate the growing demands of this industry. With a gradual decrease in the production costs, it is estimated that rabbit fur sales are only going to escalate. This can only project a grim future for these social and endearing mammals. For years I've been seeing side-by-side images of a veteran and a Hollywood figure and the caption would be along the lines of "heroes don't have names on the back of jerseys... " or "Heroes wear dog tags... ". I think you get the point and honestly, those posts have no value to me. Yes, I am a veteran. Yes, I respect the likes of Kyle Carpenter, Dakota Myer, and Michael P. Murphy. And yes, I consider them heroes. But outside of my world, I don't expect many people to know who they are or the sacrifices they made, nor should I.

But what is a hero? A hero is different things to different people. So to say or imply a hero only comes in the form of veterans is ignorant. I am partial to service members because I gave over 27 years of my life to this country. But what about that young kid who knows nothing about the military, the actions of Medal of Honor Recipients, or even know what a purple heart is? He looks up to the likes of LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant. These are the people he relates to; the people who provide him with hope and let him know that his dreams are achievable despite the circumstance. Who am I to say that this kid's interpretation of a hero is wrong? What about the kid who desires to be an actor and studies Denzel Washington as though he is a college course? That is a hero to him because acting is where his passion lies. What about that hard factory worker who goes to work day in and day out to provide for his family? At the end of the day he can't stand up straight because all of the internal pains. But yet, he still takes time to help around the house and play with his daughter.

Some people didn't grow to respect and look up to service members until they lost a veteran son or daughter. If I didn't join the military or do research, how much would the actions of a Navy Cross or Medal of Honor Recipient really mean to me? I really believe it wouldn't carry the same weight if I didn't serve my country. But my ULTIMATE true hero is my grandfather. He's not an actor, entertainer, or athlete. And although he served in the Army, he has ever been awarded a medal with valor. But regardless, he's my hero! He is the person who showed me what it is to have a work ethic; he showed me how you treat your significant other and fill the role as the man of the house. He showed me discipline, but at the same time, taught me why you discipline. He showed me the balance between God and family, and he showed me that you don't have to have a lot of money and material things to be rich.

Regardless of who my children choose to be their hero or role model, some questions I ask are: Is this a person who keeps them off the streets? Is this a person who provides them with hope? Does this person provide a positive influence? Is this a person who makes them want to be better? If the answers are "yes", who am I to judge? Education---like democracy, free markets, freedom of the press, and "universal human rights" --- is one of those subjects whose virtue is considered self-evident. So is the superiority of the industrially advanced countries in attaining them. Consequently, any package that arrives with one of these magic labels on it, automatically qualifies for the "green channel" at our entry ports. No questions asked. This uncritical acceptance has severely crippled our discussion of all these vital topics. For example in education most of our discussion centers around literacy statistics and the need to have so many graduates, masters, Phd's, and so many professionals --- engineers, doctors, etc.--- in a given country based on the standards in the industrially advanced countries. The central issue of curriculum, and even more fundamental issue of the purpose of education normally do not attract our attention; they have already been decided by the "advanced' countries for us and our job is only to follow in their footsteps to achieve their level of progress.

Indeed they have. In the "first" world, education has become an extension of the capitalist system. Its purpose is to provide qualified workforce for its machinery of production and eager consumers for its products. Stated in a more polished form, the purpose of education is to provide for the economic prosperity of a country. Similarly on a personal level today the purpose of education is to be able to earn a respectable living.

While earning halal living and providing for the economic well being of a country are certainly important Islamic goals as well, the linking of education to financial goals is extremely unfortunate. It turns the centers of learning into mere vocational centers in their outlook and spirit. It degrades education and through it the society.

To bring home the pivotal but forgotten role of education we need to recall that there is a fundamental difference between human beings and animals. Instincts and physical needs alone can bring ants, bees, or herds of beasts together to live in a perfectly functioning animal society. Human beings do not function that way. They are not constrained by nature to follow only those ways that are necessary for the harmonious operation of their society. If they are to form a viable, thriving society, they must chose to do so. What drives that choice is the sharing of common goals, beliefs, values and outlook on life. Without a common framework binding its members, a human society cannot continue to exist; it will disintegrate and be absorbed by other societies. Further, the society must ensure that the common ground will continue to hold from generation to generation. This is the real purpose of education. The education system of a society produces the citizens and leaders needed for the smooth operation of that society, now and into the future. Its state of health or sickness translates directly into the health or sickness of the society that it is meant to serve.

Today we find many internal problems --- corruption, injustice, oppression, crippling poverty --- everywhere we turn in the Muslim world. If we think about it, we may realize that most of these problems are man-made. Which is another way of saying that they are largely traceable, directly or indirectly, to the education system that produced the people who perpetuate the problems. The rulers who sell out to foreign powers and subjugate their people; the bureaucrats who enforce laws based on injustice; the generals who wage war against their own people; the businessmen who exploit and cheat; the journalists who lie, sensationalize, and promote indecencies, they are all educated people, in many cases "highly" educated people. Their education was meant to prepare them for the roles they are playing in real life. And it has, although in a very unexpected way!

The problem plagues all layers of society. Why are Muslim communities in the grip of so much materialism today? What should we expect when our entire education system is preaching the gospel of materialism? Why have we effectively relegated Islam to a small inconsequential quarter in our public life? Because that is precisely where our secular education system has put it. Why in our behavior toward each other we see so little display of Islamic manners and morals? Because our imported education system is devoid of all moral training. Why our societies are sick? Because our education system is sick.

This is the real crisis of education. Before we got into this mess by importing from the Colonial powers what was current and popular, education in our societies was always the means of nurturing the human being. Moral training, tarbiya, was always an inalienable part of it. The ustaz,(teacher), was not just a lecturer or mere professional, but a mentor and moral guide. We remembered the hadith then, "No father has given a greater gift to his children than good moral training." [Tirmidhi]. Our education system was informed by this hadith. Our darul-ulooms still maintain that tradition but the number of students who pass through their gates is minuscule compared to the secular schools.

In the U.S. and Europe, the schools were started by the church. Later as forces of capitalism overtook them, they molded them into their image. Moral training was a casualty of that takeover. But capitalism and their political economy did need people trained to work under these systems. So citizenship training was retained as an important, though diminishing, component of the curriculum--- a religion-free subset of the moral training it displaced. Whatever civility we see here is largely a result of that leftover component. The imported versions in the Muslim countries, though, had even that component filtered out. And the results are visible.

We can solve our problem once we realize our mistakes. The first purpose of our education system must be to produce qualified citizens and leaders for the Islamic society. Tarbiya, real Islamic moral training, must be an integral part of it. This must be the soul of our education, not a ceremonial husk. All plans for improving our education will be totally useless unless they are based on a full understanding of this key fact. This requires revamping our curricula, rewriting our textbooks, retraining our teachers, and realizing that we must do all this ourselves. We do have a rich history of doing it. Are we finally willing to turn to our own in-house treasures to redo education the way it should always have been? In the current world, technology plays a very big role. With every new day a new software, gadget or program is introduced into the market that claims to improve our lives in one way or another. However, it is important to know that despite the fact that technology plays a vital role in making our lives comfortable, it isn't the only role it has.

Technology is growing its role in the education field also. The more technology advances, the more advantages it provides for students at every level.

Technology in education:

We can use a lot of tools in our classrooms to help our students understand what they are being taught. For example, projectors and screens can be used for the students who are visual learners. These projection screens connected to computers can be put in classrooms so that the students see their notes as and listen to the instructor teach altogether. There are a number of sites like Wikipedia, Google etc. that are providing online solution for many academic problems.

There is a number of very useful software that can be used to help the class curriculum. Students can be provided with quizzes, tests, activities and sample questions that could help the student's progress with their learning process when they are not in the classroom.

Today, technology is being used to a good number of curriculum even those which do not belong to the technology and computers. Students make good use of computers to come up with presentations and also make good use of the internet to do research on different topics for their projects and papers.

Many students do parallel computer classes along with their education nowadays. This gives the guarantee that after completing their graduation, the students will not have any problems with using technology when they are out in their workplace or in their own business, which might help to make them more productive compared to a person who has no knowledge to a certain software or technology in school.

With the advancement in technology, students are getting more access to these types of educational opportunities. Every time something 'advanced' and 'new' is introduced into the market, the price of the existing technology goes down that makes it much more affordable in the educational set up even to those schools that might be having a lack of financial resources available to them.

Technology has grown to such a point that it can even help kids who are yet to begin their school. There are many educational systems and video games for the small children which help them in getting ready for school and in many conditions also give them a good start on their education.

There are a number of people who thinks that technology 'spoils' children. For example, they say that instead of sitting down and learning to know how to count, they will use a calculator. In spite of the fact that there are people who are making these types of arguments, the technology still remains to be a very important part of the society we live in today. By introducing it into our schools and classrooms, we will make sure that the students are equipped with much greater tools and knowledge to make their transition from school to the workplace in a very easy one. We need to realize the truth, technology is a reality in the world today and it has become essential in each and every part of our lives and education has without a doubt not been left behind. It is very beneficial in providing more knowledge to all our students and also on making them productive in the job market. Newspapers, in the beginning, started as a journal. Today, newspapers have become an essential part of human life. The profession which involved the creation of newspapers is today called as journalism. A newspaper is a printed media which publishes information on the hot sensational topics and breaking news from all over the world. It connects the people worldwide and keeps us well informed. From daily life tragedies to sports, politics, entertainments, advertisements, etc., a newspaper has all in it.

People should make a habit of reading newspapers every day. Newspapers also have some interesting sections for children like solving puzzles, sudoku, and many other interesting stories and GK contents. Reading a newspaper is fun as it refreshes your mood. One can improve his or her vocabulary in the language in which it is printed. Newspapers are not limited to any languages, and I think that is the best part of it. Nowadays, newspapers are not only available in print but are also published online in the form of news websites. Every journalism organisations have their own printed publication as well as news websites. Today, in this modern world, newspapers are playing an important role in the exercise of freedom of expression.

The national daily that I read every day is "The Hitavada". It is one of the best and top selling newspaper in my city. Unlike every other newspaper like "The Times of India", "The Hindu", "The Hindustan Times" and to name a few which is available all over India, the Hitavada is distributed in only four selected cities. And they are Nagpur, Raipur, Jabalpur and Bhopal. It is divided into two sections- "The Hitavada" which keeps you informed about the worldwide events and news, and "The City Line" which keeps you well updated with the city whereabouts and happenings. An additional segment is printed on every Sunday called as the "Insight" which carries various pieces of stuff like articles on social topics, poems, health and fitness, biographies, feng shui facts, astrology and several other interesting sections including articles on different holiday destinations and places to visit in India.

On a concluding note, I would like to highlight that reading of a newspaper is of utmost importance for every individual since it not only broadens our views and aspects about life but also keeps us connected to the society. Newspaper, being a highly organised industry today, it is one of the cheapest and powerful weapons in the last analysis.

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