Friday, June 4, 2010

නීරෝ




මේ කවිය රෝමය ගිනි ගනිද්දී වීණා වාදනය කල නීරෝ ගැන නොවේ. තමාගේ ලෝකය ගිනි ගනිද්දී ඒ ගින්දර ඉදිරියේ දනින් නොවැටුනු නීරෝ කෙනෙක් ගැනයි. ඒ නීරෝලා හැමෝම ගැනයි.

This poem (sinhala) is not about the Nero who played fiddle while the Rome burned. It's about a Nero who didn't give away to the burning fires and stood against all odds. It's about all those Neros.

Play some rock music and march on. :P

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

සීබ්‍රාවෙනි, කිමද හරහට ඉරි?!


හරි හැටි නොපෙනේනම් කවිය මත click කරන්න.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What Education Taught Me

Let me start with something I have written a while ago. I think it's been long enough for me to write about education.


The Legend Continues


After that they teach you: the newcomer.
You see what they want you to see,
Of course that's what they see
You see that you can see what they see
Then you see what you want to see

After that you teach the newcomers
To see what you want them to see,
Of course that's what you see
They see that they can see what you see
Then they see what they want to see

After that they teach the newcomers
To see what they want them to see,
Of course that's what they see
Not to see what they don't see
So on ...

And the Legend Continues ......

© Gaveen Prabhasara

---

Our friend Lakshan has written a very interesting blog post about what he thinks about the education system of Sri Lanka.

Well written Lakshan. We all have walked that realm long enough to know the pains. It holds some values, true. There is no saying that it is completely worthless. Despite the post I'm about to write here, I'm glad that I took formal school education (at least some of it), and that it was in Sri Lanka. More than any academic knowledge, it had taught me the values of life, society and culture. It has given me the opportunity to take part in many extra curricular activities and sports. If not for anything else, I would want to be in school for the above few reasons alone.

But yes, Sri Lankan education one big mess thanks to having no visionary in education. It's not just me saying it. Even a past education minister claimed it publicly. I can't say I can even pretend to comprehend the whole problem (or a solution for that matter). It's all woven into the one big pile of mess, from the mindset to the practices.

The sad part is, it's not all administrations fault as some may point. For starters, lets ask parents how many of them would strive to make their kid grow into a musician, philosopher, athlete, soldier, or any of the so called non-conventional professions. What are the conventional? Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer, Accountant, etc. Our education system is geared to aim high,.... and fail.

Aiming high is a good thing, but what concerns me is the failing part. As you may already know just a small fraction of the A/L (equivalent of high school graduation in Sri Lanka) students ever go to Sri Lankan universities. Others do many things. Those who can afford go abroad for higher studies, those who can manage go for other higher educational/professional training means. And the rest is left to rot along with the graduates who are ill-equipped with knowledge to move in the modern world. It's a tragedy, but that's not the saddest part. Saddest part is what we make out of a open-minded free thinking kid by educating him/her.

In my case I was an exemplary student at school. Most of the teachers believed I'd end up as a doctor (medical), and once their was a rumour that I was targeting a career in NASA. :) Funny, but yet very true. I didn't know why or for what I was studying, but you can say I usually excelled at it. It was natural, I was just a kid and didn't know the first thing to make out of life. So I did what I was told as best as I could. Finally, when I had the guts (and enough life experience) to think, I found my passion in IT and gave up the rat race that was A/Ls. It might have been a bad choice but hey, it was mine to make.

To make a long story short, some teachers (and some who called themselves friends) started avoiding me (or started treating differently. Just differently, not badly) after it was obvious that I had no big plans for A/Ls. I never cared, but that's the way it was. It's not just about teachers or the so called friends. It was a harsh social reality. And that's the same way how I know that I would never measure up to my medical, engineering, etc. colleagues in those eyes, no matter what I would achieve in my IT career. For some people I'll always be the boy who could have been, or the boy who ruined his future. They will never accept the fact that I'm better off being myself.

Despite all these pains, remorse and the rest I am still glad I studied for, did and passed (just) A/Ls. It had made me a better person. I am not the kind of person who despise all the formal education. I wend on to study for a bachelors degree in computing and completed it. However the my idea of education remains the same. That what you are taught is not always the best, what you learn yourself is. There were many times where people tried to tell me otherwise, but I had proven that it is. It's not my business if you don't believe that. :)

So,... the person who could outdo Einstein is no longer inside me. That flame had been burnt out. But I have made some compensation by being good at self studying and being open minded, trying to think outside the status quo. There is a new flame that drives me; computing, Open Source, technology among many other small and big things in life. This is who I am.

I've been mocked (by a wide range of people) for being a poet, for being good at music, for taking part in sports, for being a promoter of Open Source, for being an IT professional, for being myself and for being proud of being who I am. But none of that had finally stopped me. The people who are close to me accept me as I am and they do believe in me. Can you accept me for what I am?

You are free to think anything in that sense, but not for a single moment think that I would care. :)