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I find there is a disconnect between the American Education System and its government. While I am currently happy with the Obama administration, I find that if all civilians were encouraged to participate in their government, the outcome would be better for everyone. Our governments will reflect that the US has the most educated people in the world.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost the US between 4 Trillion to 6 Trillion. This should have never happened. In the last four years, there have been four revolution in the Middle East, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria. The Syrian revolution has failed and currently there is a genocide in the making. There was a huge financial meltdown that cost the country millions of money but we are making huge gains in the economy currently. Human lives that get lost through the wars we wage or the genocides we ignore are not easy to bring back. Not only is it morally reprehensible, but it costs the whole world a lot of money and human lives that could be channeled to innovation and the betterment of society.

In 1994, I was an electrical engineering and computer science student at MIT. It was my second year after transferring to MIT from University of Illinois at Chicago. During this time, the Rwandan genocide took place of which I was mostly oblivious to despite my East African heritage. Neither the US, nor any countries in the world intervened. 7th April is the official Date for commemoration of 1994 Rwanda Tutsi genocide in which an estimated 1 million people perished. Education emphasizes a lot of history and while a lot of new generation is studying past history, genocides repeat. So I think schools should teach a formal education in civic engagement and this should not be left to schools like Harvard only. So I think MIT should have one mandatory course that teaches about past genocides, contemporary conflicts that are happening now, and ways to prevent them (education), or intervene (civic engagements). The first three might be easy to incorporate as it is education, but the last one which is organizing and activism might be difficult and MIT might have to learn new skills :-).

Please check out this video to collaborate with what I am proposing:

Thanks you so much for taking the time to read my input and I look forward to contributing more.

Sofia Gebru

Education & Facilities, Educational experiences, Global Implications of EdX, Global implications of edX, Genocide education