Education makes us monsters

One of the ironies education brought on us is making those who claim to have acquired it shallow. At least this is what one can conclude judging from what we see happening in this country today. One of the tenets of education is to create a universal man whose mind sees beyond colour, tribe, creed and indeed societal standing.

According to Leo Buscaglia, change is the end result of all true learning, while Martin Luther King Jnr concluded that intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education. One of Mahatma Gandhi’s seven sins is Knowledge Without Character, which he described as dangerous as a little knowledge. “Purely intellectual development without commensurate internal character development makes as much sense as putting a high-powered sports car in the hands of a teenager who is high on drugs. “All too often in the academic world, that’s exactly what we do by not focusing on the character development of young people.”

One would also believe that education should have the power to unify rather than separate. Education must create, like what Gandhi said, a man who practices Politics With Principle.

 Now looking around at the moment, most of the so-called intellectuals lack moral and principle to stand out as academics. They are at the forefront of pushing tribal agendas. They instigate xenophobia and have no respect for others. Most if not all of them do not tolerate dissenting views. In which case, anyone who takes a divergent view becomes an enemy of progress.

They are very bitter people who cannot stand any defeat, and when they are defeated, they fume and lash out. One good example is the cries of foul by some Swapo Youth League members who lost a court case last week. To them and for them, the judge was wrong in ruling against them. When Justice Parker ruled in their favour in April 2016, Job Amupanda hailed the judiciary system.

“It was never really about our positions – some of us have long resigned from these posts. We’re happy that tomorrow when people have a different view, they’re not just going to be treated as non-starters. The court explained and took the position of justice. We’re happy that our judiciary remains independent.” Last week, the same Amupanda said: “I hear that Judge Uietele, brother of Omaheke governor and Swapo central committee candidate at congress Festus Uietele dismissed the case without reasons. Reasons will be given on later date apparently.

There are things that are not under our control. It was a good fight though.” So if a so-called academic fails to recall that there have been judgements delivered in the past and the judges announced that they would give the reasons, who should? Another good example of a man who claims to have an education but lacks character is Joseph Diescho. After losing out on a bid to get a ministerial post which he canvased for, Diescho has become a very bitter and enraged animal. Diescho is one man who does not waste an opportunity to lash out and lambast the current administration. Diescho sees nothing good in the current president and government.

Let us wind the clock a little bit and refocus on this so-called academic whose prowess and profession is nothing but sounding off disgruntlement. The Namibia Institute of Public Admin and Management could have benefitted immensely to Diescho’s good governance sense if one is to believe what he preaches every day. Over the years, Diescho has spoken against abusing public property and re-emphasised the need for good governance. Diescho’s trial at Nipam exposed him for what he is - just another human being with worse weaknesses. Since Diescho did not object to some of the accusations the Prime Minister’s Office levelled against him, one can only assume that he was indeed guilty.

The Nipam board charged that Diescho provided consultancy services and held workshops with several parastatals in his private capacity - services the institute offers. He received a housing allowance and still stayed in a Nipam house free of charge. Diescho chose to stay at the Safari Hotel for three months in 2013 and cost the government N$140 443.89. Another charge was that Diescho picked a vehicle that was higher than his grade. When he did this, Diescho ignored what he had agreed to in his contract. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Diescho also abused his phone and raked thousands of dollars in the process. All the issues stacked against Diescho make up some of the things he preaches against. Here was Diescho doing exactly what he accuses other people of doing. Gandhi was right to castigate those who acquire education but forget to get a suitable character. When Diescho was chucked out of Nipam, he sought refuge in his tribe. For a few months, Diescho tried to organise meetings for people from Kavango.

If education cannot create universal human beings, one would then ask: of what use is it? Today, Bernadus Swartbooi is running the breadth and length of the country seeking solace and comfort in tribal pockets. Swartbooi is a lawyer by profession yet one with a very fl awed character. He is full of hate and tries to live a narrow world where he uses historical issues to push agendas. His arguments are as shallow as the dip on top of his head. Indeed, Swartbooi argues like a disgruntled scorned woman. His comment about OPO was the lowest Swartbooi has ever sunk, and it made him appear confused because one wonders whether all these years he served a tribal party.

When he was dug up from the pit of poverty at Rehoboth and pushed into the governorship, Swartbooi never saw and realise that he was following OPO? When he danced at all those rallies clad in Swapo regalia, Swartbooi never thought that he was dancing to OPO songs? This young man makes a good example of an education that has no character. It’s an education that will not yield much change apart from sowing seeds of anger and disgruntlement. Namibia’s future is bleak if it rests all hopes on such so-called educated people whose characters are flawed.