Education as a Vehicle for Peace
The 5th annual LCSR conference was organized from 15th - 21st November at HSE. One of the keynote speakers at the conference on Cultural and Economic Changes under Cross-national Perspective was the Director of the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University, Darwish Al Emadi. Dr. Al Emadi’s talk was on The Challenges of Surveying in Countries with Unorthodox Population Pyramids. He spoke to HSE English News about his long term goal to improve education on a global level and about his cooperation with HSE.
The main education problem on the global level is that so many people around the world are deprived of what we consider basic education. The other problem is war zones which bring challenges of their own to providing decent levels of education. The third problem is how to make education a vehicle of peace and stability in the world. I think if we genuinely try we can spread a culture of peace and reconciliation regardless of our differences.
How should we go about improving standards?
As for the quality of education, there are benchmarks that need to be met. Resources must be allocated to facilitate good education. Top students lured to the profession. Dedicated and highly trained teachers are key elements in the process if we want to prepare the next generation for what is a tough market.
Definitely the attitudes of teachers, the levels of motivation are key and matter regardless of where we are talking about. Local context normally determines the level of competition among students and hence the level of motivation. Normally when the job market is very competitive and there is a high degree of fairness we find students are motivated and keen to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed, the opposite is also true, when there is a high level of corruption, when people get good jobs not due to their qualification, knowledge and skills but due to connections or other means we find that the motivation among students is very low.
International cooperation no doubt helps to improve standards. How is your cooperation with HSE proceeding?
SESRI at Qatar University has already signed a memorandum of understanding with LCSR. It started a couple years ago when we had the WVS meeting in Doha. At that time both parties expressed an interest in collaboration and we worked it out. It took a while but last year we signed the MOU. On more than one occasion we had students from LCSR attending workshops at SESRI. Those workshops are normally organized in partnership with the University of Michigan. We hope that further collaboration will take place as we go on.
Have you enjoyed the conference and how do you like Moscow?
I am very grateful for the kind invitation I received to attend this conference. This is my first time here in a Moscow. It is a very beautiful city with hospitable and nice people. The conference was great. I met a few people for the first time, learned a few new things and am looking forward to coming back again next year at same time.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service
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