There is no shortage of things to complain about when it comes to our country. We’re among the top 20 countries with the slowest Internet. The unemployment rate in the 15-29 age range is 27.3%. Statistics show that there are 17.2 million illiterate Egyptians. These are but a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things. So ask yourself this! With 17.2 million illiterate Egyptians, does a school English teacher in Asyuit deserve mockery for choosing role play to make his students read Oliver Twist?
A video of an English teacher in Nasser Asyuit Secondary Military School teaching his kids Oliver Twist by making them act it out was recently circulated on Egyptian social media. The video was originally posted on the official page of the school on Facebook. And some of the more “worldly” users of social media ridiculed the students and the teacher for their pronunciation of the English language!
Here’s a sample of the comments:
If we keep complaining for the sake of complaining, we’re going to miss the small things. Small things like the fact that an English teacher wanted to get creative and find a way to keep his students interested in the subject at hand. In fact, it’s not such a small thing. It is a big thing that there are teachers in Asyuit who are making learning fun. They are engaging their students in the topic and making class time equivalent to theatre time!
To make matters worse, when the teacher replied to the comments and urged people to help him improve the education system, they made more fun of him instead.
Here’s what the English teacher replied with:
And here’s what the “educated” replied with:
If you want to see more comments, check their facebook page.
If we want Masr to be ‘2om el Donya’ fe3lan, then a video like this one shouldn’t be a material of derision. Just like it’s not okay to scoff at a waiter’s English. It is obnoxious to laugh at those who weren’t as fortunate and those who didn’t get the same educational opportunities as we did. We should deem ourselves “lucky” instead of “superior”. The right to make fun of this creative educator does not belong to us. He strived to be different given very limited resources. How many of us can say that we would have tried had we been in his position?
Our society is brimming with things to ridicule and reproach. A teacher making his students act out Oliver Twist is not one of them! And yes, an English teacher should speak proficient English. Given the state of our country, however, this is not something to sneer at. We shouldn’t be making fun of him. We should be asking ourselves “what are we going to do about it?” and “how can we change that?”. If we want to witness an Egypt that we are proud of, we should start recognizing small achievements such as this one.
“For the rest of his life, Oliver Twist remembers a single word of blessing spoken to him by another child because this word stood out so strikingly from the consistent discouragement around him.” – Charles Dickens