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Multicultural/ Multiethnic Education Essay

1986 words - 8 pages

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is sovereign state surrounded completely by land: the south and the east borders Pakistan, Iran in the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. They use this land for agriculture which is the basis of their economy. However, only 12 percent of the land is arable and the country is susceptible to drought (Robson). Just like Somalia, the country has a tradition of nomadism. However, today there remain few true nomads. Only the large cities have an economic sector that has been modernized (Robson).

Afghanistan has been completely inhabited by one ethnic group and “Its citizens naturally identify with those who speak their language and share their culture” (Robson). This means that their loyalty is first to their local leaders of ethnic groups and have a fragile feeling of nationalism. While many languages are spoken (major languages are Pashto and Persian also known as Dari written in the Arabic alphabet). One thing Afghanis have in common is their toughness and resilience (Robson). Afghanistan is a high power distance society which means authority figures are often not disagreed with or challenged (Entezar, 29). In other words, “Force and intimidation is used to establish one’s power and dominance from family to presidency” (Entezar, 30). They do not respect a weak ruler, father, supervisor, commander or any person in charge (Robson). This idea manifests itself in family, schools and other public or private institutions in Afghanistan (Robson). With this goes the “rule of the ruler” or those in positions of power make an manipulate laws to control the citizens and stay in power (Entezar, 60)

At home, the high power distance is displayed by the father’s role in absolute power. The father makes decisions for the entire family in marriage, education and other aspects of life.With this, the parent’s put a high value on a child’s obedience (Entezar, 29). Disobedience is obviously punished to make sure the father as absolute power (Entezar, 32). An Afghan's family is sacred and a matter of great privacy (Robson). People are generally reluctant to share personal and family issues with non-family members, even health care professionals, though less often women may discuss their problems with friends, including non-Afghans (Robson). A person is usually judged more on “the basis of his position of power and wealth than his character, education, expertise, or any other intellectual and artistic achievements” (Entezar, 36). “Old age and charisma are associated with power,” not knowledge (Entezar, 41).

At school, the same force and intimidation is used to show dominance. Teachers are autocratic and set up power the first time they enter by yelling, beating, insulting or using harsh means to make sure his students are afraid of him and his authority is established. Students may be afraid to ask questions in class and rote learning is commonplace...

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