Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Reforming European education systems.

http://ec.europa.eu/ireland/education/index_en.htm
The mantra that we were hearing during the start of the economic crisis from our continent's leaders, was the "need to reform".

From their perspective, these reforms should mainly focus on Europe's social justice and security system.

It is true that some sacrifices and changes have to be made, in order to make Europe more competitive, ready to deal with the challenges ahead.


These challenges are created by an increasingly multi-polar and competitive world, in which Europe must secure a prominent place.

But if we are discussing about the future of Europe, then our efforts should be focused on the most obvious asset that we ought to invest in: our future generations, our youths.

Sadly right now our leaders are mainly rushing to stabilize Europe's banks and the single currency, the euro. Crushing of course the future of our continent's most valuable asset for recovery in the process; the creative potential of our young population.

Unemployment has hit hard people under the age of 30 across the continent, mainly due the austerity policies that were implemented. In addition, years of neglecting our educational and social security systems, contributed to the problem.

Since Europe must maintain or increase its competitiveness, it will need highly skilled and educated young workers, that will become innovators and entrepreneurs. Or simply that will attract companies to invest, taking advantage Europe's qualified workforce, either native born or migrant.

Therefore, our continent must establish new industries in which he would be a pioneer or hold an edge of competitiveness. That can never be achieved without skilled workforce, appropriately and adequately educated or trained.

Consequently Europe must reform its very educative system, in order to offer its youths the skills and knowledge to face the future. In addition of course with creating new jobs and industries.

Young Europeans must receive the right education to be able to fill jobs and professions that Europe will need, in order to achieve an economic breakthrough and innovation.

Despite the struggling EU economy, fewer and fewer Europeans are studying so-called ‘hard’ subjects like science, engineering and maths. Since 2006, the number of ICT and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) graduates in Europe has plunged by almost 10%!

In the workforce today, only half of Europeans are deemed to be ‘digitally skilled’. And yet, over 90% of jobs today require these digital skills. In other words, there is a ‘skills gap’ in Europe, and it’s growing worse.

The situation is especially perverse when you consider that so many young people across the continent are unable to find jobs, while at the same time there are employers out there struggling to fill vacancies. If things continue as they are, then there will be a predicted 825,000 unfilled vacancies just for ICT professionals alone by 2020. (Debating Europe)

https://kivinen.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/european-schools-congratulates-eu-for-nobel-peace-prize-2012/
The obvious thing to do of course, is to reform Europe's education system, to close this gap. We should introduce new subjects in our classrooms, that will prepare young Europeans for the upcoming shift.

I remember when I was a young man in high-school, having to memorize useless subjects like religion, or be taught music and arts in totally inadequate way. Teaching these subjects and course learning them was something mechanical, a thing that was always have been and no one dared to challenge it.

But wouldn't be much better if we scrapped some certain subjects out of our classrooms, or change the way they are taught, while introducing new ones. Subjects that will benefit our youths, helping them find a job in an increasing competitive Europe.

Naturally computer skills and languages are necessary, in a progressively diverse and technology or information driven continent. But these are not the only changes that European classrooms should see.

We still need old subjects like history, arts and science. Art because we need creativity in people. History so we won't repeat the same mistakes. And of course science to generate those scientists and innovators that Europe needs.

We just teach them the wrong way, from the wrong angle. In history we should teach the horrors of war and conflict, not glorify the heroic achievements of our ancestors. In arts we should encourage open mindedness and creativity, not just teach its boring history and significance in the past. 

We should introduce new subjects like European studies at the latter levels of education, in high-schools, so we will have informed European citizens.

Finally we should introduce sexual education in schools, to have happy and comfortable with their sexuality individuals, which will reduce stereotypes, discrimination, sexism and STI's or unwanted teen pregnancies. 

Human sexuality goes hand in hand with human creativity, so sexually aware humans make happy and creative individuals.

Europe must ponder on what kind of future generations does it want, apart from its politics and economic model. Where our leaders go wrong, is that they try to formulate first the economic model and then the society of people which it is supposed to exist for.

In reality they should work the other way around. First plan what kind of future European society they want, then reform their country's education and economy around it. Thus their main concern should be education, not the banking system.

Unless of course their vision for Europe is one of increasing inequality, with stagnant economy and relying on immigration to cover our workforce needs, resulting in increasing social backlash. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Syrian Civil War, closer in becoming a global one.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/30/did-russia-send-an-anti-u-s-force-to-syria.html
The US Senator John McCain has accused Russia of targeting Free Syrian Army rebel recruits backed by Washington.

McCain, who is head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the Russian air strikes have hit forces that have been “armed and trained by the CIA because we have communications with people there.”
 (Euronews).
The above statement is clearly a proof that the CIA and the US are behind the creation of the Syrian conflict. The Syrian civil war is nothing more than a coup to overthrow Assad and his regime, to serve the geopolitical interests of the USA in the region.

One of course will now question; since they created this messy situation, will they accept all refugees from Syria? After-all, they have the responsibility for this development, not Europe. They should be ready to accept the consequences as well.

Most importantly, this constitutes a very dangerous and worrying development. Have any CIA officers been killed by the Russians in this attack and if yes, how will the Americans respond? This could lead to a renewed cold war in our planet, or even worse; a very hot one. 

Right before the bombs rained down, a Russian general arrived in Baghdad warned the U.S. military planners to keep America's own warplanes out of the way. U.S. officials said they would not alter their flight plans.

This is the beginning of a dangerous new phase of the international intervention in the Syrian civil war. Not only has Russia tried to order U.S. forces to step aside, it actually has the firepower to back up its demands. Some of the 35 warplanes Russia has deployed to Syria are specifically designed for fighting foes like the United States, not ISIS.

Seemingly out of nowhere on September 21, they appeared at an air base in Latakia, a regime

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-syrian-jets-bombard-plain-after-rebel-attack-monitor-2109264
stronghold in western Syria—28 of the Russian air force’s best warplanes, including four Su-30 fighters and a number of Su-25 attack planes and Su-24 bombers.

Soon six more Su-34 bombers and at least one Il-20 spy plane followed, part of a contingent of Russia forces reportedly including some 500 troops plus armored vehicles and SA-15 and SA-22 surface-to-air missiles.  
(The Daily Beast).

But Russia is not the only power to get involved after America. France is the only European country so far, to carry out its first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria last Sunday. (The Guardian)

Furthermore China is also getting involved. On September the 23rd, Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi, (The Arab Source), claimed a Chinese naval vessel passed through the Suez Canal and is headed to Syria. To assist the Russians fighting the Islamic State and the US, plus the Gulf Emirate proxies trying to overthrow the Al-Assad government.

The website cites an senior officer in the Syrian Army stationed at Latakia who claims Chinese troops and military aircraft will arrive at the port city of Tartus within six weeks.
(InfoWars)

This is not a regional conflict anymore, but potentially we could see a new global war within the next few months, if not weeks. It is obvious that Syria, just as Ukraine were just the chessboard for a greater stir-up in the geopolitical status all this time.

The people of Syria are not just victims of the Assad regime, nor the rebels. They have been caught between bigger regional and international power games, that could potentially settle old open accounts for good. Unfortunately this will not happen in an easy or pleasant way for any of us. 

The rich Arab states hate the Assad regime and they are calling upon the Americans to overthrow him. Annoying in return Russia, as Assad is their only long-term ally in the region. The Russians are calling the Chinese in assistance to deal with the Americans and literally give them the message to back off-or else.

Finally Europe looks on confused and divided on what to do. No one wants a conflict or war, especially since our continent has not recovered yet from the economic crisis. We should be spending money on creating a fairer and brighter future for our youths, not destroy the little opportunities they have left.

Sadly, Europe might not have a choice, but to get engaged. Ukraine and Syria lie in its doorstep. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the Middle East, pouring into European countries. Soon enough and if the conflict in Ukraine continues, Europe will see a new stream of refugees arriving from the East.

We won't have the luxury of remaining passive or simply viewers. If the war mongering leaders of this planet continue with their immoral power games, none of us will be given a choice.

Potentially the only thing Europe could do, is to act as a mediator and try to bring some sense into the minds of those irresponsible leaders. If the conflict in the Middle East escalates, no region will be unaffected, especially Europe due to its proximity.

East against West, Christian against Muslim, Sunni against Shia, liberal against conservative. This will be an annihilation of our world as we know it.

Every war brings economic possibilities and growth, after the initial disaster. And as the resources in our world are seemingly gathered in a handful of individuals, perhaps some wish to initiate this redistribution of wealth and power. 

We have been watching these struggles for the past 6 years now, ever since the euro-one crisis has begun and how Greece was treated by the IMF and the EU. The war in Ukraine and Syria, the Arab Spring and the increasingly aggressive Russia. The animosity in the South China Sea. Things do not look good.

Perhaps us Europeans, will have to take to the streets soon enough. This time not to protect our hard won civil and social security rights, but the stability of our region and world peace. Please, leave Syrian people alone and stop meddling!