Mohammed Amine Belarbi ( Morocco, RCN, 2010-2012)
Nothing can resume better the necessity and the role of UWC in investing in politics and influencing it than the statement of Albert Camus:
“Politics, and the fate of mankind, are shaped by men without ideals and without greatness.”
If those in power, those in the top of the political ladder, the privileged powerful elite are individuals without a sense of ideals, values and ethics, what is then the role of a UWC which leading statement calls for peace and understanding? It is indeed a shame that we all bear witness of, a shame which testifies of the failure of UWCs to propagate its teachings and philosophy beyond the humanitarian and environmental. Political power is the magical key which allows one to provoke change in all the fields ranging from economics, military, social, environmental and educational. The power of politics goes as far as upholding the real torch of change, yet the ones holding this illuminating torch failed to uphold a vision which accounts for the benefit of mankind and the prosperity of society.
Isolating the field of activism of a UWC to limited fields with no actual power to induce a wide scale change sometimes tends to diminish the great potential the UWC alumni hold. There is indeed a tendency to deviate UWCers from the domain of politics, as the latter does not fit the UWC ideals and does not uphold the highest values an international and multicultural education promotes. To some extent this may turn true, but referring back to Albert Camus words, how can we actually turn the world of politics from a dark playground into a land of miracles for mankind. How can we induce a paradigm shift in the pre-requisites for a politician to integrate the elitist club of policy making? It is a challenge which will be met by a strong resistance, a resistance not led by the corrupt and the despot but more by the social mechanism humans installed and based their understanding of politics upon.
It is time to instruct students on the necessity and importance of political activism instead of drawing a dark image of it in student’s minds. The risk is high, yet the benefit is even higher. The teachings of politics may disgust, disturb and push away the idealistic educational mentors stacked in the UWC Board as it asks the student to make unthinkable compromises, but what if UWC manages to gets its alumni in the congress, in the state presidential cabinet, on board of the embassy crew or as a president of a nation? This will not only be a profitable business which will boost the reputation, financial status and influence of the UWC movement, but this will as well contribute in recruiting a new generation of policy and lawmaking pioneers, true leaders with a sense of responsibility towards the community first and the international family as a whole. When that time comes, the words of Albert Camus will be void of any meaning, at that time, “Politics, and the fate of mankind, will be shaped by men with ideals and with
-United Words team-