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Lessons ignored.

I repeatedly used to ask in school, "Why do we have to learn history? For starters, it's hard (the names, the dates, the reasons), it's boring, and what's done is done. What's the point of mulling over something that happened five, 10, 50 or 100 years ago?"

My teachers always politely responded by saying, "History repeats itself: by learning it, we ensure the things we did wrong as nations and individual human beings are avoided in the future."

In Ontario, Canada, history classes are implemented from late primary school and are a required course for all students until the 10th grade.

High school graduates raised in Canada, have more or less, seven years of history classes behind them.

The same is true for the US and I presume for many of the GCC countries.

So as I stare out the window, after reading endless stories of shellings, innocent civilians being hurt, the notorious activities of the Sri Lankan government and the completely unresponsive international community, I begin to wonder ... even after the Holocaust, Rwanda and Kosovo, why do we let these atrocities happen?

Thousands of people have died in Sri Lanka. Have all the nations failed the ultimate history test?

Considering the current major economic crisis, politicians can just never seem to find enough money.

I think if politicians are looking to make serious budget cuts, history classes may be a good place to start...


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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:May 20, 2009
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