These days, life is breathed into schools, as we hear the morning queues, the shouting of children and students while playing in the yards, while teachers return to normal education after two years of performing virtual education and sitting behind screens.
It is one of the life experiences. It has never been bad because technology is designed to serve people, and it has had a huge impact. It is not easy to imagine what the conditions of the world were like during the emergence of similar viruses in previous centuries as technology and communications were not what they are today. How did people manage? And how the children were acquiring their education during the lockdown? They are mysteries of the past. It is indeed a blessing which we thank God for. I recall a poem sung by the late Italian Brother Paulino, who lived in Jordan (Collège De La Salle Frères) for more than 20 years. The poem he composed says: "Viva la technologia", which means "Long live technology". And I add,"Viva la technologia when it is used properly. No one says I do use it or not. Everyone is invited to be served at the technology table."
The students return to classrooms and to school yards and learn the art of practicing inter-fraternal interaction. That's really what was missing in the past two years, namely the art of living together, dealings, respecting and loving one another, and reconciliations after conflicts. The school, in addition to the home, is a small community in which generations are brought up to respect the values that have been inherited, and to provide honesty to future generations.
From this premise, I pay tribute to a Jordanian peculiarity of which we are proud, namely the art of common living based on respect for differences, on plurality, and on respect for viewpoints whether inside or outside the classrooms. If we listen to the memoirs of the elderly, the school has always had this influence of learning the beautiful, calm and fraternal art of living, as well as good citizenship. We nowadays, address respect for national plurality, because we have in our country brethren and friends from Arab or foreign countries, and we are invited, in addition to the Jordanian peculiarity of bringing up generations, to look forward to accepting the others who are different in religion to become our brethren in citizenship and in the belief in the One God.
The advice we present to our renowned schools is to have school trips focus this year on introducing students to the historical sites that form a cornerstone for religious tourism in our country. The Jordanians have a priority to visit these sites before inviting neighbors and friends to do so.
Have a safe summer, a safe return to schools, and a good education.