Education should go beyond book learning – Issa
Prominent businessman and head of the Crissa Group, Christopher Issa, says the nation has mistakenly viewed education as all about “book learning” without sometimes taking other factors into consideration.
Issa, who was the guest speaker at the annual MoBay City Run cheque presentation at the S Hotel, Montego Bay, on Tuesday, said educating the mind without educating the heart is “no education at all”.
Quoting philosopher Aristotle, the hotelier argued that “educating the mind while educating the heart” is the best education of all.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is like building a car without brakes. The fact is that book learning isn’t the only important kind of learning, this is something that needs to be addressed in our nation today,” he bemoaned.
Issa added that it was not only important to focus on developing the cognitive aspects of students, but that educators need to take into consideration the development of all the qualities that “make us human”.
He said that for far too long, children have been prepared to simply pass exams at the expense of some of the skills that will take them through life.
The Crissa Group’s head contended that there was a price to be paid for this kind of mindset, especially in a global and competitive environment where being versatile places an individual in an advantageous position.
“We do so little to prepare them for this world by not teaching them socialising skills, such as empathy, compassion, altruism, self-esteem, self-awareness and most importantly, kindness to others,” he added.
Issa further signalled that his intention was to advocate for the revamping of “our children’s education” to include a balance between teaching students how to process empirical information as well as educating the other positive human qualities.
For his part, logistics and scholarship coordinator for the run, Emerson Whittley, revealed that 75 per cent of this year’s applicants were selected, a feat that shows how important the charity had become in the lives of students. Some $4 million dollars was handed over to students attending six tertiary institutions.
“MoBay City Run belongs to Montego Bay. I am very proud of what this event has, and continues to, accomplish. From the organising committee to the dedicated sponsors and the local and overseas participants, all uniting for this essential cause,” Whittley said, urging corporate Montego Bay to give unconditional support.
In six years, the charity run has donated $23.5 million towards education in western Jamaica.