Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 20, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
JMWfy 10, THI UTHMWM HHMD Brewsler A new look at Israel: kibbutz education CARID, Israel "My" ba- 13 bira have grown up and have children. "Mine" in a spe. del sense for my own daugh- ter shared eight months of her first year of life with this sec- ond generation of Kibbutz chil- dren whilst I, visiting here for the firet time, worked as a physiotherapist with post-op- erative and accident cases, multiple sclerosis and deformi- ties. She shared the care and love of those in charge, play- and toys and baiy food prepared In the gleaming, ster- ile babies' kitchen. Over the years, I have visit- ed and seen these children grow up and some have visit- ed us in our various homes in Africa and England, 'Scotland and Canada. I have come to the conclusion that In the upbringing of these children, perhaps, lies the an- swer to Israel's absolute free- dom from drug addiction, ju- venile delinquency and the general dissatisfaction of our youth In North America, In a society whose basic structure and character is, otherwise, very similar to ours. Education of Kibbutz chil- dren presents the most strik- ing difference to our Western system and should, perhaps, be looked into for the benefit of those children In our so- ciety who are culturally de- prived, originate from city slums or impoverished rural areas, and all others who would do better could they be brought up in an environment different from their homes. The aspect of Kibbutz educa- te such children is the fact that no Kibbutz child starts school with a handicap. Each child re- ceives the same preparation for school because of their communal upbringing, regard- Jess of individual differences of character or parental back- ground. Thus, in Israel, many city children whose home life does not, for many reasons, permit their free and happy growth and development, are sent by their parents or social counsellors to the Kibbutzim for their schooling. Such children art fully integrated into their age groups and, although they keep in close touch with their own parents, are always "adopted" by a d u 11 members of the Kibbutz who then spend all their free time with them. The aim of Kibbutz educa- tion is basically the same as ours with one vital difference: R has done away with com- petition and the accumulation of private property. Whilst we generally feel that an upbringing away from par- ents in institutions is disas- trous ID a child, Israel chil- dren similarly brought up in groups have proved this the- ory wrong. There are no drop- oiits Ip the Kibbutz, no teen- agers bored, contemptuous and tired of life. In our society, youngsters often drop out of school be- cause they are impatient to go to work and earn money. In the Kibbutz, work and educa- tion are rombined from a very early age. Even pre-schoolers have 'their little garden plot where they grow flowers and vegetables under adult guid- ance. As the child gets older, he works on the farm or in the workshops after school and is given increasingly more de- manding and absorbing tasks! And, of course, since there is no money to be earned, there is no reason to drop out of school to earn it, As there are no economic differences, few outside distractions, no com- petition for grades or the threat of being left behind in a class younger than the child, there is no pressure other than the child's own desire to be ap- proved of by his peers. There is no delinquency among the young because everything belongs to everybody and there is, therefore, nothing to be stolen. The children have deep sense of belonging, of being needed and the knowledge that the future of the community is in their hands. Absence of sex delinquency Is probably also due to their communal upbringing. From birth they are raked together with the rest oE their age group like multiple twins, know and love each other like brothers and sisters and, therefore, very seldom mate and marry another child from their own peer group. In adult life, they all become respon- Bible, hardworking citizens loyal to their community and country. Only about four per cent of the population live in Kib- butzim, yet, this four per cent has provided the Knesset (Par- liament) -with 15 per cent of all its members and the country with a much larger percentage of leadership in all other fields. By the same token, not only did the Kibbutzum provide a very large percentage of the officer -corps in the 1967 six day war, they also suffered 25 per cent of all casualties, proof of their courage and devotion to duty. This group of Kibbulz Sorid'i children ore playing with port of Kibbutz Sarid. The trees were donalid by Jews all their jointly owned dog under the luperviiien ef ther meta- over the world. paleF (nune, educator and The woods ore by Joief Drengir, Sarid. ANNOUNCING! FRANK WALKER'S MADE-TO-MEASURE SUIT PROMOTION Commencing Thursday, January 20th until Saturday, February 12th SELECT FROM LARGE BLANKET SIZE SWATCHES OVER 100 OF THE LATEST DESIGNS, SHADES, FABRICS GROUP 1 Values lo 140.00 NOW.......... 99 .50 GROUP 2 Values to 160.00 NOW.......... 110 Extra trousers available. Small charge for fancy models, up to size 47 chest. No charge for oversize. IN APPRECIATION OF THE SUPPORT OF OUR MANY FRIENDS AND CUSTOMERS OUR STORE WIDE UNNECESSARY SALE, CONTINUES FOR ONE WEEK! MANY FINE GARMENTS LESS THAN Vi PRICE Welcome! MEN'S CLOTHES 321 7th St. S. The reason (or so many lad- ing personalities growing up In Kibbutzim is perhaps that the children learn, from the ear- liest age, to shoulder reapon- slbllitiet and develop tolerance for the weaknesses of others. Furthermore, it is no mere coincidence that the education of Kibbutz children is the best and most versatile, any society can offer. It stands to reason that the teacher who does not have to worry about income, Job security, or compete in the kind of rat race often neces- sary elsewhere to get an in- crease in salary or promotion, is free to devote all his energy and resources to his job. Also, since there are no kudos attached to being a profes- sional man, only extra work and added responsibility, those who volunteer to train and raise a new generation, are the men and women ideally suited to being teachers. Yet another benef 1 c i a 1 as- pect of Kibbutz education for the child is the absence of fric- tion between parents, teachers and administration. Any per- sonal disagreement is imme- diately discussed and settled to mutua'. satisfaction in a nar- row circle and such disagree- ments remain personal excep- tions and do not reach or in- fluence the children as it does in our society. It would be wrong to assert that our young generation is the tint to be disenchanted with society. There have been rebels in every age. In fact, the Kibbutz movement in Is- rael was originally inspired by youth rebelling against exces- sive domination and restric- tions of Jewish family life. As a result, Kibbutz children realize at a very early age, be- ing brought up in groups, that al' their security is provided by the community as a whole. Everything they are given, from their basic needs of food, housing end clothes, to toys, recreation facilities and educa- tion has first been thoroughly discussed and then voted for by every adult member of the Kibbutz during their frequent meetings. Since all parents work and as there is usually only one Metapelet (nurse, educator and housemother rolled into me) for as many as 20 or more children of any one age group, the children, from infancy, spend most of their time with their peers. They soon become more dependent on the help and comfort provided by their comrades than on any individ- ual adult. Adult leadership is there but is kept, more or less, to an advisory level, coming to a physical rescue only in very rare cases of emergency. Therefore, the group spirit of the children develops when they are no more than toddlers and they make the best use of it for their mutual benefit. To be sure, the children do have love and affection for their parents who spend their free time with them and, as the child gets older, probably work at bis side but, contrary to our society, the childrens' first loyalty is to the commun- ity as a whole. If you ask a Kibbutz child who he is, he will seldom tell you his full name but will say: "I am Gideon (or whatever his name a child of Kibbutz Sarid or Hasorea or Kfar as the case may be. Toe second strongest tie Is to his age group, which, when they are old enough to join the army or set out to found a new settlement, may overtake the first loyalty to his native com- munity. Parents come third in the childrens attachment but, since these parents developed the system in the first place and since they feel very strongly that theirs is a good and just society, they do not resent this fact. To the con- trary: Because parents get satisfaction from their work and interests, because life is not competitive nor does any- body feel superior or inferior to anybody else, in short, be- cause their lives are simpler and closer to nature than ours, they are also much closer to their children, respect their In- dependence and do not inter- fere in their life style. Eminent educators and psychologists have been look- ing for a way to apply Uw benefits of such an upbringing (without its inevitable short- comings) ill our scdety and I am not qualified to voice an opinion on the practicality of such a system. However, as a mother of teenagers in Can- ada and lacking the wisdom of Solomon, f feel that, if it leach- es IE nothing else, the success with Us children, In the frame- work of a pure democratic in- stitution, where neither com- petition nor greed for material possessions have a place, could show us the way to sorting out our priorities In our approach to our children. Stockholm conference in danger The New York Timei A CLOUD already bigger than a man's hand threatens to compromise seri- ously the work of the United Nation! Con- ference on the Human Environment sched- uled for Stockholm next June. A resolution pawed by the General As- sembly in December limited attendance at the conference to members of the United Nations of its specialized pro- vision that would exclude East German but not West German representation. In con- sequence, the Soviet Union and Czecho- slovakia have indicated that they will re- consider further participation. The delicate question whether the con- ference was to be universal had long ho- vered over the preparatory committee, on which both Eastern and Western nations have worked enthusiastically. What makes it an especially thorny issue now is that negotiations between Bast Germany and West Germany art still In flux. Admis- sion of the former to the Stockholm gath- ering might well weaken the bargaining position of the latter. The Russians and Czechs insist on equal treatment, so far as the conference is con- cerned, for the two Germanys. Such equal- ity would require a special session of the Genera] Assembly and an abrupt reversal. Yet the Soviet bloc had indicated an un- willingness lo settle for an observer's role for the East Germans or for any other lesser status. Surely statesmen can find a way out of a deadlock or limited proporlians in order to satisfy an unlimited need. The Baltic Sea cannot be salvaged without the co-op- eration of both East and West Germany. Ocean life cannot be saved for the Rus- sians without the active aid of the British, the Americans, the Japanese. It should not be impossible either to work out a special status for noo-member states at the con- ference or, at the very least, to arrange their representation through neraber pow- ers. Ironically, hope that the Russians may not abandon the conference after all lies in Thursday's dramatic decision by the People's Republic of China to attend. Whe- ther or not this first major step by China within the United Nations was motivated by politics or by genuine environmental concern, it is a highly important step. It Is especially encouraging for those devel- oping countries which up to now have been less than enthusiastic about the need for environmental curbs on their economies. If the Chinese action produces second thoughts In Eastern Europe, that will be all to the good. To allow the desperately needed Stockholm meeting to be put off or crippled would be to display unpardonable political rigidity In tie face of global dan- ger. Agriculture's problems Great Falls Tribona pVERYONE has a stake in agriculture. When the report comes out of Wash- ington, D.C., that the number of individual farm units in the United Stales has fallen below ten million for the firet time since records began being kept SO years ago, it is time to take notice. On the state level, toe number of farm and ranch units in Montana has been de- clining at the rate of 500 annually for several years. Since the number of acres in production has remained constant, may even have risen a little, one .might not consider loss of a few hundred op- eration units important, until he stops to realize Bat for every 500 farm and ranch units lost, according to economists, 70 busi- nesses fail. Fortunately, there Is a hopeful side. Word coming beck from county fairs around Montana this summer is that fanners and ranchers more than ever be- fore are eager for information. They have crowded around booths sponsored by farm organizations, according to Clyde Jarvis, president of the Montana Farmers Union. Where there were no booths, they have listened eagerly to anyone appearing rep. resenting an organized farm group and dis- tributing literature. One of the things which concerns rural people is toe prediction by many agri- cultural leaders that the present federal farm program, which runs through 1972, Is the last. "Where do we go from they ask anxiously. The rank and file, If not all of their leaders, nave displayed interest In the concept of closer co-operation among the various contemporary farm organizations Union, Farm Bureau, National Farmers Organizations, Grange, etc. The stumbling block in the way of young persons still believing in the family-sized farm or ranch as tbe ideal place to live and rear a family is the heavy investment required to start in the business in these days of inflated prices. This problem Is attacked in the proposed Young Farmers Investment Act sponsored by Sen. Gaylord Ntelsoo of Wisconsin and now undergoing revision for another try in Congress. Beautiful and peaceful Kashmir By Marian Virtue IN the recent and third battle between India and Pakistan since indepen- dence and the resulting partition, very lit- tle has been heard about the Himalayan Muslim hideaway, Kashmir. The first and second confrontations, one in 1M7 and the other in 1965 involved, almost entirely, thia state but in the recent battle they only had a few attacks on the airfield at Srina- gar (the Indian troops recaptured with ease much of tbe high mountain area bordering Pakistan, lost in 1965 to Kash- mir. Actually, the location of this beautiful vale, at an altitude of feet, is its own protection. There are only three ways into Kashmir. Tbe access by air is by way of tbe very narrow Bannihal mountain pass; by car it is a 300 mile drive from the Punjab plains over an incredibly bad road with summits of feet; by foot, by mountain trails, deep snow, torrential streams and ft. levels. In September 1947, when the Pakistanis made a full scale effort to annex this predominantly Muslim state, then a prince- ly one, the Hindu Maharajah immediately asked to have Kashmir accepted in the Indian Union. Airborne Indian troops soon arrived and in two months the march of the Pakistanis was brought to a standstill at Siadibora bridge, and Kashmir firmly established as a state of India. Immediate- ly a build-up of Indian army encampments began in the 90-mile vale, until in 1965 I found them every 10 miles and ready for instant action. Many observers feel Kashmir, because of its Muslim population, should have been allowed to make a choice. To all intents and purposes, they have chosen. On my second visit in 1969, in conversation in va- ried parts of the vale, I sensed a satisfied people. "India Is In a better position to market our products than one inform- ant said. Another, "Our people are thrifty, hard working and energetic. Quick mar- kets are essential for our rugs, hand- carved furniture, woolens, leather, etc. Pakistan can't give us that." Kashmir is a beautiful, lush country. Hillsides are heavily timbered, orchards full of peaches, apples, cherries, pears, al- monds and walnuts. Bice is a wealthy crop and the floating-gardens on Dal lake pro- duce fine tomatoes, strawberries and vege- tables. The streams are full of brown trout and in the woods there is wild game. My guide and I chased wild pigs with cam- era in the gulmerg area, after climbing four miles from the last village by jeep to an altitude of feet, to tbe famed "meadow of flowers." These people seldom get beyond their own backyard but seem extremely happy, courteous, kindly, well fed and comfort- ably clothed. The men, under their heavy robes, cany a small basket of burning charcoal called a "Kanglds" for warmth. Climbing many steep stairs from the alley like streets of the year old city of Srinagar to the factories, It is amaz- ing, in this country devoid of modem ma- chinery, to find rug work as fine as in Persia. Their wood carving, done from the not of the walnut, (jewel boxes, tables, furniture, etc.) is famous, as is their wool embroidery on hand-woven material called "Crewel." (You can buy it in New York for a Their silk Sari is of high repute, boasting exquisite hand embroid- ery in exotic colors. Bach fall when the snow closes in they board or brick up tbe open windows of their homes or shops and work steadfastly through the winter preparing crafts for the spring influx of tourists. Much of the work is done in poorly lit rooms or by candlelight. Gazelle and antelope coats are cut out ready to be quickly fitted on a hurried tourist, while in other shops gold and silver are being fashioned into intri- cate pieces of jewellery for madam. This, too, is the centre of the world's famous papier machie work. Their embroidery of leaves and vines on leather is superb. With such crafts, plus a healthy climate, they are happy and political problems seem remote. When the Mughul Emperors from India built the famous Mugbul Gardens, Chenar trees were brought from Persia. It's leaf is like our maple and is featured very at- tractively, along with animals of the re- gion in their embroideries and carvings. Lombardy trees also planted by the Mug- huls now stretch in their slimness and beauty toward the blue sky. Akbar's gar- dens overlooking Dal Lake and the Him- alayas are a tumult of color reminding one of the days when these Emperors did so much to beautify this mountain area they loved so dearly. "Kashmir and nothing else." No cause for discord By Dong Walker "THE proprietor of J and L store I can't understand Las mating such a i i__a. suggestion. He knows perfectly well that I'm good to her. If J don't buy her an ice cream cone I let her have the pennies in tried to incite discord in our mar- riage recently. He urged Elspelh lo make a collection of fillers and then sue me for too things I write about her. change to get candy.