It is time when the COVID 19 pandemic has engulfed the entire world with fear, stress and anxiety and there is drought in educational institutions, playgrounds, markets, religious places, airports, railway stations and bus stops etc. People around the world are in a state of self-arrest and restricted to their homes. Millions of people around the world have already lost their jobs and many more will be losing if the pandemic remains uncontrolled in another two to three months. Moreover, starvation, poverty, psychological issues, lawlessness and even cyber-crimes may also increase to make their living. The so called super powers are being more affected and scared of this pandemic and looking more helpless than powerless and less resourced countries. The world has so far lost more than 200,000 precious lives but the western world like the United States of America, Italy, France, England and Spain are among the most suffering states as more than 28000 death cases have been reported only in the US and similarly more than 20000 in Italy.
Why did this happen? Although super powers have made significant contributions in different fields of life in the world, they have also set a trend of spending precious resources on nuclear weapons for other countries to become atomic power. Therefore, even developing nations due to long term enmity, distrust and fear of war even poor countries despite having meagre resources and almost unreturnable international debts, spend their major chunk of the national revenues on defense at the cost of human rights i.e. food, health, quality education, economic opportunities and a pollution free environment. These super powers and also some developing countries made atom bombs, missiles, war aircrafts and rockets to defend their geographic boundaries and defeat other countries but the world has yet to see at least a single country to defeat COVID-19. Moreover, the super powers have made tremendous advancement in science and technology and even made the moon and Mars accessible by leaving millions of children out of school and millions of people in starvation. It reflects a mechanical approach of advancement where human values like empathy, care, love, compassion, humility and kindness are diminishing. In the race of this mechanical development the education also has lost its purpose which is to balance both material and spiritual aspects of life. Therefore, the current education system in the world develops material intellect at its best by compromising with the moral dimension of life. Most of the graduating students receive degrees with excitement on the occasion of university convocations but they are leaving the university without any excitement for serving the humanity in their practical life.
The current pandemic provides an opportunity to the world leaders to reflect and review their defense policies and priorities of business. The pandemic also makes us realize that a safe and healthy human life is more important than having nuclear weapons and access to the moon and Mars. There is a need to shift our thinking from becoming a powerful nuclear state to a state of serving humanity by providing fundamental human rights to all citizens especially preventing and curing lives from any type of pandemics, epidemics and other chronic health issues in future. Therefore, the world leaders especially the super powers now have to divert their resources and invest more on quality education specially the medical science to ensure a safe and protected healthy world. Moreover, science should serve the humanity instead of being a source of human destruction because it is said that science without humanity is a big sin. Therefore, science and technology should be used for human development and economic prosperity not for atomic wars. More importantly the world should embrace a common curriculum that guides nations for pluralism, peace and harmony to become a single united nation of the globe. Today, the pandemic allows all nations to think and avoid conspiracies and build relationships based on trust, fair and transparent communication and collaboration. The UN should also take measures to establish a just global society that provides equal opportunities for all to participate, progress and prosper together.
Writer: Zeenat Shah
Professional Development Centre, North, Gilgit-Baltistan
The contributor is a Senior Instructor at the Professional Development Centre, North, Gilgit-Baltistan.