Languages —

Friday, July 19, 2024


    Ridwan Yusuf

    Mogadishu City is losing Its Trees


    Due to the rise in the city population and the construction boom, Mogadishu is slowly losing its most valued environment pillar “the Trees” Forests are essential to combating climate change

    They drink up huge amounts of planet-heating carbon from the atmosphere and provide shelter for species struggling to adapt to global warming. For that reason, experts have called for measures to protect forests. But what about trees in cities? We hear much less about them. Yet the trees that line streets and backyards are just as important as those in the forest actually, maybe even more so. And we are losing them, too.

    When you look around Mogadishu comparing to the previous 10-15 years the city has tremendously lost its green shelter. Many trees have been cut down without any replacement. Those trees have a powerful impact on health and well-being and climate change.

    Even though urban areas are small compared to rural areas, the value of trees is more important because these trees are in more proximity to people. This loss may not seem huge, but it’s substantial in proportion to people.

    In addition to soaking up carbon dioxide, trees clean the air of other pollutants by absorbing gases and trapping noxious particulates in their leaves and bark. They cool buildings by providing shade and warm them by lowering wind pressure. They also can reduce noise and slow floods.

    These trees matter greatly because they are where people are.

    The trees in the city are more valuable because they are cleaning the air where people breathe and reducing energy and air temperatures where people live and work a large population lives in urban areas. As a result, those trees are critical in terms of human health and well-being.

    When cities lose trees, they are deprived of the associated benefits. These benefits include air pollution removal and its effects on human health carbon sequestration and energy conservation, that is, the reduced amount of energy being used because of trees. The loss of trees is costing cities tens of millions of dollars each year worldwide.

    City dwellers can slow the decline of tree cover by planting new trees, but that doesn’t entirely solve the problem. We have to better understand what we have in urban areas appreciate the value of the trees and understand how things are changing. There needs to be more discussion about what cities want their future to be. Decide what you want to sustain then make a plan to sustain it

    Skill Based Programs Must be Made

    Ridwan Yusuf

    We often say that today’s students are tomorrow’s future. But we do not think about how today do students can become the bright future who may add a distinctive value for the upcoming generation. We also do not research on which education can make our children skilled and worthy citizens of the country. In the majority of schools and classrooms, it is observed that the students are mainly being assessed on lower-level thinking skills such as memorization and recall.

    The multiple-choice, short-answer and matching questions, along with the academic assignments, are majorly dependent on the main modes of assessment or school prescribed methods which are running years after years. Many education commissions are formed to upgrade the education system of the country, but they cannot come out with the so-called systems of teaching and learning in classrooms.

    Yes, some initiatives have been taken by some of the educationists of our country like creative questions, higher ability testing, communicative English learning, but it’s the fact that the certain no standard modules are patterned which the teachers may follow or standardize their teaching in the classrooms. I think the education system and teaching methodology should be modified and changed into skill-based learning, so that the students of today, can smartly overcome the challenges of the 21st century and occupy a strong position in their workplace.

    In the education system, if we cannot emphasize skill-based teaching today’s students will have to face various challenges in the 21st century. The researchers foresee the following challenges if we do not be careful of our teaching systems; the challenges are;  #Threats to the employment from automation, #The deficiency of manpower, #Shortage of adaptability quality of the educated but not skilled, #Lessening the collaborative thinking, #Worsening the reality of learning, #Dulling the critical thinking and problem-solving qualities, #Degrading the communication skills, #Weakening the management level of thinking, #Exhaustion of finite national resources #Decay of moral and ethical issues associated with digital technology (e.g. data privacy, surveillance culture) and biotechnology, #Slow motion in upgrading education in all sectors, #Threat to the abnormal growth of inefficient population.

    Therefore, if we are not aware of how to prepare our students with proper skill and technology, we cannot tackle the challenges, rather it will create an inevitable disaster in the country in future. We need to focus on areas beyond simple content accumulation in the respective subjects of the classes. In a future of unprecedented societal shifts, education is crucial to managing the challenges ahead. The following skills are to be attained for tackling future challenges:

    Creativity and Innovation Skills

    We know that the global marketplace is more competitive than ever. Innovative products and creative thoughts thrive on an organization’s ability to design and present them in aesthetically pleasing ways. Creative thinking and application grab consumers’ attention and secures their loyalty. Ultimately, creativity is a common language we can all learn to communicate our passions and ideas with. So, creativity and innovation are just valuable learning pursuits. It’s a vital tool to success in school and in the workplace. For this reason, Creativity Fluency is used in thousands of schools all over the world.

    Adaptability Skills

    The world is always appearing with a lot of changes in this digital age at exponential rates. By the time employees learn the newest software or program, a better version is coming about. Future employers will need to continuously adapt to changing conditions as well as be able to learn new things quickly and efficiently. We need our students to learn how to learn. We deal with trends of every kind constantly. Business, technology, entertainment, communication, and lifestyle trends are just some of the many.

    Communication Skills

    In the present world, communication has transformed beyond face-to-face interaction. We communicate using technology more than ever. We have access to a wide variety of new ways to communicate from video-conferencing to social media. In school, we work in groups to produce solutions to the challenges and problems we face. Interestingly, we do the exact same thing in the workplace.

    Collaboration Skills

    Working in groups is a hallmark of the digital age. Our classrooms and businesses incorporate teamwork into their daily practices and also foster a culture of competition and independence rather than one of teamwork and collaboration. 

    Leadership Skills

    Leaders are an asset in any classroom and in every workforce. Anyone whose attitude moves from “I can do it” to “we can do it” makes everybody better. It’s their independence and willingness to take responsibility for making good things happen, not just simply getting things done. That’s why leaders see more, do more, and learn more.

    Problem Solving Skills

    The world is changing and will continue changing dramatically. As such our children will be solving future problems that we can’t even imagine yet. They’ll face challenges that require skills to define a problem, design an appropriate solution, and put it to effective use.

    Critical Thinking Skills

    The way we think about the world, ourselves and each other affects more than just personal experience. It has a part in defining the future of everything and everyone and the entire world this is the “Ripple Effect.” It’s been a part of many cultural philosophies for thousands of years, reminding us that how we choose to think and act influences our whole world. We don’t have to be overwhelmed by it, just simply aware of it as it guides our critical thinking practices.

    Information Management Skills

    Dealing with information means we can determine what is valuable and discard what is spurious or questionable. This is important for producing solutions and products that are genuine and useful. It’s also an aspect of research and proper attribution of sources, things every good digital citizen needs to know. Information is essentially all things on the Internet, and it’s alive and growing.

    Personal Management Skills

    Personal management is one of the basic skills to overcome future challenges. This includes the ability for employers to independently plan, organize, create and execute, rather than wait for someone to do this for them.

    Curiosity and Inquiry Skills

    Without curiosity and inquiry skills there is no learning effectively. Lifelong learning is driven by curiosity. Outside the rigours of school, there is no educator or peer to motivate us to learn and expand our minds. Developing curiosity is undoubtedly one of the most beneficial lifelong learning skills you can have. Nurturing curiosity can lead to moments where a learner says, “wow, I never expected that in school.”

    Technology Skills

    In the digital age, almost every business employer demands to be skilled at using technology. In the digital age, technology is everywhere. Schools, however, have been slow to adapt to this change. Rarely are students required or taught to learn technology efficiently. This needs to be emphasized.

    Soft Skills

    The skills which create additional values for any individual student. Schools rarely spend time teaching students soft skills, including skills such as time management skills, organizational skills, the ability to look someone in the eyes when talking to them, or using a firm handshake. Most business leaders need this skill in their business places. 

    Reflection Skill

    This is also an important skill that our teachers should teach the students in the classrooms. As we learn, we acquire new skills and knowledge for various uses. Empathy and Perspective Skills

    This skill is always important for every student as a human being. The teachers should teach their students the ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, to understand their feelings, and to help solve their problems. Keeping always a kind attitude to the others of their mates irrespective of all senior and junior individuals.

    We Need Tolerance

    Ridwan Yusuf

    Many of us don’t know we are intolerant and would make absolute dictators if we ever had power over the lives of others. If you are a person who gets angry when someone says something you don’t agree with, even on Social Media, then you have an intolerant streak in you.

    Think hard and count to at least 1,000 before you speak up or write with anger, whether on Social Media or anywhere.

    You have heard the expression: “Let’s agree to disagree”.

    The moment you have to respond to someone’s viewpoint with a torrent of abuse, you are actually displaying intolerance in full public view to the whole world.

    Engage, debate, but don’t abuse the other party.

    Communication means that I have to listen to ideas that sometimes may not be ready yet, but I don’t bash the person on the head; I just try to engage them in a way that helps them and others. Unless of course, they are being #Intolerant Being passionate about an issue does not mean you are necessarily right. It just means you are passionate about your side of the argument. That is all.

    Think about all the things you are angry about?

    “Why are you so, so angry?” There are some people out there who are so, so angry about a lot of things, and a lot of people. Some are even angry with themselves! Yes, we all get angry now and again, but when you allow your anger to just simmer and explode day after day, venting and venting, you need to be careful. It will eventually consume you personally or lead you to take an action that will cause harm to others. Even as a Muslim, I’m not justified in being angry with people who don’t “see” what I’m seeing. Or don’t agree with me. I have seen brothers shouting at other brothers in publicly…..criticizing the efforts of others like it’s their only purpose in life.

    What is that? What is the matter with you? Come on! “Mutual tolerance is a necessity for all time and all races”. Mahatma Gandhi

    Without tolerance, even and especially across big divides of many kinds, we will never ever build Africa’s century. That does not mean passively “tolerate” injustice, inequality, abuse, racism, and the like. It means “two wrongs do not make a right”. We have to keep focused on Solution Seeking, not the opposite. Let’s talk. [As usual: please keep the conversation focused on ideas and nation building]. There are other platforms for other discussions.

    The Simple View of Reading

    Ridwan Yusuf

    In spite of its importance in the world of reading research, many practicing educators do not know about the Simple View of Reading. It is a formula demonstrating the widely accepted view that reading has two basic components: word recognition (decoding) and language comprehension. The Simple View formula has been supported and validated by a number of research studies. Understanding the formula will help educators with assessing reading weaknesses and providing appropriate instruction.

    The Simple View formula presented by Gough and Tunmer in 1986 is:

    Decoding (D) x Language Comprehension (LC) = Reading Comprehension (RC)

    The Simple View formula and supporting studies show that a student’s reading comprehension (RC) score can be predicted if decoding (D) skills and language comprehension (LC) abilities are known. Notice that D and LC are not added together to predict RC. They are multiplied. In the Simple View formula, the values of D and LC must be between 0 and 1 (or 0% and 100%). A score of 0 means no skill or ability at all and 1 indicates perfection. (Examples of how the formula works are presented later in this article.)

    Gough and Tunmer (1986) proposed the Simple View of Reading to clarify the role of decoding in reading. Many educators did and still do believe that strong decoding skills are not necessary to achieve reading comprehension if language abilities are strong. Beginning and struggling readers are often taught to compensate for weak decoding by guessing an unfamiliar word based on the first letter or the picture, then asking themselves if the word makes sense after reading the sentence. In contrast, when decoding is the focus of instruction students are taught to sound out unfamiliar words using all the letters and to practice reading accurately until an adequate reading rate is achieved, along with accurate decoding.

    This article discusses the following so that educators can take advantage of the Simple View of Reading to help all students achieve their maximum reading potential.