The Choice is Mine or Ours

I found in the Forum section of Le Mauricien last week: “The Choice is ours by Vandana Hunma” most interesting. The essay was published in 4 parts all along the past week Monday through to Saturday. I concur to Vandana’s views on education in Mauritius. I was so enthused that I took the pain to look up the telephone directory to locate her and to congratulate her for her writings. Thereafter, I had an interesting chat with her. I was pleased to have spoken to her and to know her a tiny bit better.

I have to admit that at first the title of the forum attracted me. “The choice is ours” rang a bell to me as I had used very often a power point slide in my leadership training seminar which I had entitled “The choice is mine”. The slide was used to culminate Habit 1 of Stephen Covey’s teaching “Be Proactive”. The essence of which is to recognize that by being proactive: one takes conscience of one’s freedom of choice; one takes ownership of the positive & negative consequences of our choice’s action and one has to think, plan ahead and envision the potential outcomes of one’s action. “Be Proactive” is in opposition to “Be Reactive”.

The Choice is Mine

I choose to live by choice, not chance

I choose to make changes, not excuses

I choose to be motivated, not manipulated

I choose to be useful, not used

I choose self-esteem, not self-pity

I choose to listen to the inner voice,

not the random opinion of crowds

The Choice is Mine to surrender
to the will of the divine mind for
in surrendering, I am victorious

I see in Vandana’s essay the questioning of the essence of education as practiced in Mauritius. What is the prime aim of our educational system? Is it only to provide more CPE s certificates at primary level to enter the next level? Is it to provide more HSC or SC holders or to provide to a more educated population to meet the challenges of tomorrow? Education for life! Creating an ever learning and regenearting Mauritius organisation! Developping talents for tomorrow’s citizens.

I once, in my fits of wittyness, asked the following question to a candidate that the company’ I was working for, was interviewing for a senior position: “We have seen your numerous qualifications and have read your CV in which gave an account of your past experiences. Now that you have an idea of the deliverables, new position demands, could you indicate to us what are the competencies and skills you possesss and what are the skills and comptencies you need to acquire that will allow you to perform outstandingly should you be recruited for the post?”

Diplomas and qualifications only show and testify what were achieved in the past. What is pertinent is now and the future? Will the curriculum now being used in our education system answer the demands and needs of our forcasted tomorrow?

My wish is to direct us all, Mauritians to the vision of the future. The technical term in the NLP jargon is “Future Pacing”.


#1 Olivier on 10.18.06 at 5:57 pm

I agree very much. Internal locus of control, or the perception that one’s future is in one’s hand, is the basis for success. Edison said that Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. One HAS TO take matters proactively to succeed.

As you said, a C.V. is only a piece of paper showing past accomplishment. What is important is the now and the future. What is more important than bullet points is the fabric of the individual. Education is even more crucial at the early stages and as such, should not be skimped on.

In the real world, CPE’s, SC & HSC don’t mean much. Rather its the personal development occured in between and the skills obtained.

#2 joseph on 10.18.06 at 9:52 pm

I would add that CV & certificates are important landmarks of the holder. The past performance gives an indication for the evaluation of the potential. It should not be the only criteria used.World class companies of the like of Toyota according to Professor Getz who I had the chance to listen to last month,has stringent tests at recruitment for shopfloor staff.All the tests are designed to evaluate the candidate’s attitude to work,to continuous learning,to his social skills, his readiness to admit errors and his vision of the future!They are not worried about the past experiences, they only ensure that a minimum of numeracy and literacy are present.Shop floor new recruits are given 6 weeks of training before we are assign a job.No wonder Toyota remain World class.

#3 Christopher Lam on 10.19.06 at 9:34 pm

Hi Tonton

I enjoy reading your articles regularly and they are consistently interesting and insightful, from my little town in the North West of England I can see so many similarities between your observations and those of my supervisor’s remarks! A little hint is that he is also strong onto NLP and uses them extensively to help train me as a doctor.

With time I am learning the luck I had for growing up in Mauritius, where people know each other and I think what you did in calling up the author was admirable; to do this in England is certainly not encouraged (I’m more likely to get in response, “My number is ex-directory”!) and it certainly gives me great pleasure in knowing that my country harbours clever individuals. I miss that.


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