Friday, April 30, 2010
My thoughts ... The Education system in Maldives (1) - Privatization, A road to class differentiation ?
7th Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Leaders Summit
24-27 June 2010
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
This important regional event will bring together the key Scout Leaders of all member Scout organizations in the Asia-Pacific Region to analyze the developments since the 6th APR Scout Leaders Summit in 2009 and to provide direction for the region. Ideally, each NSO should be represented by the:
- Chief Commissioner or equivalent
- International Commissioner
- Chief Scout Executive or equivalent
The venue for the Summit is the Atria Hotel, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The hotel is strategically located in palace road in the heart of the city. It is easily accessible to MG Road - the corporate hub of Bangalore which is just 5 km away. It is also accessible from the airport in 45 minutes and less than 10 minutes from the city railway station. For more information, you may visit the website at http://www.atriahotel.com
Prior to the summit, all sub-committees will have their respective meetings:meetings from 21-22 June and details of these meetings will be circulated.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Being a member of this NGO I just want to give some Introduction and some idea of the sort of work the NGO has been doing. Hope this gives a clear picture of ECOCARE MALDIVES in general.
ECOCARE Maldives was registered under the Ministry of Home Affairs in 15 Nov. 1994. This is an independent non-profit-making non-governmental organization, which works for the protection and sustainable development of the environment. The main current issues undertaken are environmental awareness issues.
The co-founders of ECOCARE Maldives Mohamed Zahir and Ibrahim Waheed “Ogaru”, two young persons from very different backgrounds were thrown together frequently not in their professional areas of work but in area where certain personal interests coverage- that of writing on issues of social concern. While Mohamed Zahir was a professional photographer who worked for a legal newspaper, Ibrahim Waheed “Ogaru” worked in the area of education. An almost continuous threat that ran in their contribution to local dailies and periodicals, first unwittingly and later with purpose, was the protection of the fragile environment of the Maldives in its delightful entirety. Formally untrained, and certainly lacking formal education in the area of environmental protection, these two young persons utilized their courage, determination and inventiveness to develop into the complex world of environment protection. Their writings and other efforts supplemented and augmented official efforts made at a national level to increase environmental awareness in the nation. Their efforts were so rewarding and successful that they decided to commit themselves to the environment of the Maldives by formally registering ECOCARE Maldives.
Today, ECOCARE Maldives remains small and humble. The two co-founders and a very dedicated General Secretary Mr Moosa Manik, also self-taught professional, make up the permanent individual membership of ECOCARE Maldives. This helps the organization remain focused and committed to its highly practical approach to promoting environmental awareness in an active manner in the Maldives. However, whenever the need arises in the carrying out of an active exercise, ECOCARE Maldives has the unique privilege of calling upon a formidable reserve of volunteer partners from all profession walks of life. It is a matter of organizational pride that most who work with the organization for the first time on a given assignment choose to remain on call for a second opportunity. ECOCARE Maldives is much in their debt. ECOCARE Maldives also owes a great debt to a selected group of gracious and valued sponsors that have bolstered the organization in its practical undertakings.
Programs & Projects
Posters were distributed to create awareness in government offices, schools and the general public in the use of paper. More than 50,000 posters were distributed this way.
On days like the World Environment Day and World Cleanup Day ECOCARE Maldives had actively participated in programs organized by the government and schools.
Under the Two Million Tree-planting program and Independent Maldives, Clean Maldives ECOCARE Maldives had participated actively and prepared awareness materials such as posters to create awareness among the public.
Members of ECOCARE Maldives give advice on running environmental programs and lecture on environmental issues in both schools and tourist resorts to create awareness.
ECOCARE Maldives provides photographs, gives guidance to government authorities, private organizations and foreign parties in publishing books, printing calendars and reports on the environment of the Maldives.
International environmental organizations such as Environment Investigation Agency (London), CIDAM International (USA) have visited the Maldives and have run joint environment awareness programs with ECOCARE Maldives.
ECOCARE Maldives runs a small library on general environmental aspects. This library is extensively used by school children. Foreign experts use the library for their reference in writing their thesis and reports on their studies.
Reprints were made of the 50,000 booklets printed initially on turtle awareness in 1994 and are being distributed presently. The reprint was made on request from some concerned authorities.
Similar campaign to that of the Save the Turtle was started to SAVE THE SHARK in the year 2000. The awareness booklets on Save the Shark are being distributed.
Beginning of the year 2000 an ongoing environmental awareness program was launched to create awareness among the school children of Malé and Baa Atoll. Baa Atoll lies about 96 miles to the north of Malé. Hence, arranging transportation for 50 participants including school children and teachers to the atoll is organized in each of these trips. School children from Malé and islands in Baa atoll work as colleagues to study the environmental issues such as mangrove ecosystem, coral reefs, beach erosion, biodiversity, natural vegetation, waste, etc. in the atoll. Two such programs, of five days each, are run every year during the school holidays. This is done to use the school holidays effectively and in a useful manner.
ECOCARE Maldives organizes sessions for school children and public through the help of international expertise on some highly pressing environmental issues such as climate change.
Scented flowering plants common in Malé in the past, but are no longer seen, are re-introduced with the help of devoted parties and are distributed in Malé once or twice a year.
Work has been started to collect and compile a complete inventory of all the plants that are grown and found in the Maldives. These plants include indigenous and exotic varieties. This led to another piece of work that is of great interest, which is to take a complete inventory of the medicinal plants and parts of the plants found in the Maldives. Once this work has been completed in full, it will be presented in the form of a database that would accessible to any parties who are interested.
ECOCARE Maldives envisages compiling a database of Insects and Birds of Maldives.
Since plastic containers and bags are an environmental hazard to coral reefs and its life alike, ECOCARE Maldives has carried out special awareness programs to school children and general public through media and visiting schools in person. Paper bags of different sizes and varieties are brought to Maldives and are distributed to schools and other NGO’s as samples to promote the use of paper bags to replace the use of plastic bags.
Environmental videos and slides are made available in ECOCARE Maldives for the use of environmental awareness programs run by both Malé and atoll schools and government authorities alike.
A series of lectures was given to primary schools in Malé from 1998 to 2000 under a program called Awareness 2000. Resident and expatriate resource personnel gave these lectures. In addition, these lectures were facilitated by videos and slides.
ECOCARE Maldives hosted numerous events as a part of climate action on the distributed day of events (October 24, 2009) coordinated by 350.org.
Mentioned above are the major activities run by ECOCARE Maldives to enhance environmental awareness. All of these services provided to whoever has the need is free of charge and its users are not required to be members of ECOCARE Maldives. Sonevafushi Tourist Resort have provided funding for most of these programs and activities. For the awareness 2000 program Canadian Embassy provided financial assistance to purchase some audiovisual equipments. In addition, some local business parties also provide financial assistance to some programs run by ECOCARE Maldives.
Log on to there website and find more:
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Scout Association of Maldives (SAM) needs dramatic change!! and these changes need to be FAST!! The Present Constitution and by laws of the Scout association needs to be amended as soon as possible!! I am aware that there had once been a strong enthusiastic work done to bring amendments to the Constitution and By-laws, however:
The present By Laws and Constitution followed by SAM which I believe is the one Adopted on 28th January 1984 and amended 23rd July 1993, 24th September 1994 and May 2001 ( I hope i am correct):
In this: CONSTITUTION OF THE SCOUT ASSOCIATION OF MALDIVES, Article 5 (Powers and Duties), Clause (b) say:
The Association has Power: - To Form Local Branches and Committees in all parts of Maldives, and to Organize courses, workshops, seminars, activities and Publish and sell or distribute papers, books, pamphlets and information for the purpose of stimulating interest in, and promoting the objects of the Association, and to take all other measures which may seem necessary for providing and maintaining an efficient organization for the purpose of the Association.
I think it is high time that the Scout Association Start decentralizing the organization. The Scout Association needs to broaden its activities and strengthen its program, to do so Local Branches need to be set up as soon as possible. Provincial Scout Headquarters with provincial Scout commissioners need to elected/appointed to over see, coordinate and organize Scout activities at a provisional/Local level. This will also attract more scout leaders and ultimately results will include increase in membership growth and attractive program etc... It can only then be an efficient organization.
The By-Laws are also required to be amended in order to exercise a more Democratic procedure in bringing together the National Executive Committee.
currently it states in
BY-LAWS, Article 4 (Chief commissioner) Clause (a) say:
The Chief Commissioner shall be elected by the National Scout Council and Shall be a person holding the wood badge or who has formerly served the National Movement in an Executive post for a medium of Six years. The appointment shall be for a term of three years and may at the end of that term be extended by resolution of the National Scout council for a second term of three years. Such appointment shall not exceed two consecutive terms. The Chief Commissioner shall be accountable to the president and the National Scout Council, and be responsible for the management of the affairs of the Association in accordance with its established policy.
BY-LAWS, Article 29 (Election of National Commisoners) Clause (a) say:
National Commissioners shall be elected by the Council and nominations shall be made by the executive committee. In case of any vacancy or due retirement from office of any National Commissioners, the Executive Committee shall send one nomination for each vacancy for elections to the Council within 21 days after any such vacancy or 45 days prior to any retirement. Such nominations must be sent to the council members in writing through the secretary and should state the name of office for which nominations are made and include the resume and and written consent of the nominee. The president shall then convene a meeting of the council within 15 days but 7 days after advising the nominations to all members, to hold elections.
I believe the election of the NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE should be held in the Annual General meeting where representatives/delegates from each and every registered scout group in Maldives should vote!! This a more democratic procedure. The current By-laws does not allow this. Therefore amending this is needed as soon as possible.
Involving Young Adults in decision making level is one of the priorities and resolutions passed in the World Scout Conference, it is important that there be a Youth representative/Young Adult member in all levels of decision making process in Scouting. Therefore there should also be amendments made to include Young Adults (18-26) in both the National Scout council and the National Executive Committee of the Association.
There are 5 Youth Advisers elected by the World Youth Forum to represent the Youth at world level. And there are 7 Young Adult Members elected from the APR Youth forum to represent the APR Youth at regional Level. this is also a best practice in many other NSO's as well!!
I believe there should be more powers vested on to the Annual General Meeting since this is the body where SCOUTING IN MALDIVES is actually represented! More powers should be vested upon it!!
Under BY-LAWS Article 15 (Annual General Meeting Of the Council) Clause (e) (the Business of the Annual General Meeting of the Scout Council Shall be:-) this has six sub Clauses.
Theis gives very limited job to the Annual general meeting.
If we look at the structure of the WOSM it clearly shows us that the decision making body is the World Scout Conference! Same goes in APR the APR regional Scout Conference is the top in Hierarchy. This is also the best practice of governing in most of the NSO's and it is a successful structure.
This should not only be applied for the National Executive Committee but also to the National Scout Council itself.
however first its necessary to draw up a guideline and rules of procedure for the AGM. (There should also be Local/provincial annual general meetings as well)
One major issue faced with the Association today is lack of resources, personnel and facility to run Scouting. We need to establish a more attractive program including the Youth section as well. There are not many Rovers in the country because of this. And a lot of leaders are leaving the movement.
Sub-committees need to function under each Commissioner!! this will provide more opportunity to both leaders and rovers to get involved in SAM. this is already on the By-Laws but I think the only effective sub-committee is the training team.
I also believe that the reason why some commissioners are INEFFECTIVE is due to this!! This can be achieved I believe as I have mentioned above by DECENTRALIZING SAM.
Rover scouts are among leaders, Rover Scouts are especially the young adult leaders aged between 18 and 24. They contribute themselves in units or troops by supporting unit leaders. On the other hands, they can organize their own Rover Scout Unit/Crew by themselves and do several challenging Rover Scout projects/program.
A National Rover Scout Committee/Council should be established in the SAM.
And it should consist of Young Adults as the decision making of young people is very important. The objective of this committee would be to set up and operate Rover Scout projects in the country. The committee can also be established both in national and local/provisional level. It becomes the bridge to recruit future leaders. This is a followed in many NSO's as well. This will increase the number of Rovers and prepare a more responsible generation of youth members to lead the Association in future.
There had also been a recommendation passed from the earlier Youth forum in Japan which recommended NSO's to organize National Youth Forums in the countries. Members to the National Rover Scout Committee/Council can be elected at the National Youth forum.
SAM should open up a National Scout fund so that it would help finance more scout activities in the country on national, provisional and individual group level. I am sure there are going to be a lot of people more than willing to contribute to a Scout fund if it is opened. Proper auditing and financial reports could be made. This is also successfully practiced in many NSO's.
Well these are not the only suggestions or things we need to look into, the list goes on. My point here is, Scouting in Maldives need HOPE!!! we need things to get better!!
I am just an admirer of the Scout Movement, All i want is to see Maldivian Scouting Bright and shinning as it once was.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
World Guiding Celebrates its Centenary (Mysore; The Baharat Scouts and Guides inaugurates Centenary Events)
The World Guiding Movement celebrates a centenary of Guiding today.