Published On: Sat, Mar 23rd, 2013

“Your ignorance is someone else’s gain “

By Hassan Bendouz

Morocco News Tribune

One of the major reasons why it’s extremely challenging to change things in our country, such as eradicating corruption, creating a better education system and implanting responsible behavior in people in general, is our conscious or unconscious tendency to make a virtue of ignorance.

Knowledge has become undesirable and odd in a society which is completely shrouded in darkness, moral decadence and total loss of identity. Knowledge is a weapon of mass instruction since it forces people to take responsibility for their actions and deprives them of the means to pass on the blame to others or external circumstances. Ignorance, on the other hand, is a real handicap that blocks progress, critical thinking and long term visioning.

Education is a smart investment for great nations and true leaders. It is a very powerful weapon that can raise a country from the ashes of misery and decadence to the acme of prosperity and progress. If this investment is appropriately made, there would be clear, measurable and positive returns to look forward to. But if it failed, the costs would be incredibly high at all levels.

Most dictator regimes of the world invest high budgets in officializing certified illiteracy, sacred ignorance, and unquestioned cultural concepts. Corrupt political systems build Schools to frame a stereotype of citizen that would suit its ideology and controlling aspirations.

For them, schools are made to kill young students’ creativity and mental potential. School programs themselves are smartly designed to shackle the intelligence and incredible diversity of young pupils for the purpose of maintaining the same social, cultural and economical archetype of the mass in a certain community.

Our educational institutions are filling the kids’ minds with lots of useless and outdated information that students are forced to learn by heart for exams. Such kinds of mental spoon-feeding makes students lose their talents and critical thinking to become passive brainwashed citizens that are easy to control and enslave.

In fact, Education is a dangerous tool that corrupt politicians are scared of. It frees people, empowers them and guides them to the harbor of dignity, justice and enlightenment. What we really need in our schools is to inspire the pupils and pave the way for them to think out of the beaten paths traced by the others.

It’s obviously clear that the real enemy to knowledge is not ignorance by itself but the nonstop illusions of knowledge that are ploughed into the minds of the masses via media, schools , and religious institutions. There is nothing more dangerous than someone who believes something simply because someone else told them it was true.

Dictators and tyrants throughout history are fully aware that the most devastating weapon jeopardizing them is the weapon of “ critical thinking” . The latter sets peoples free, it frees groups as well as individual, it frees me, you, in fact, all of us.

No wonder we find third world countries building more prisons than libraries. It’s beyond doubt that reading makes a country powerful and great. All types of knowledge are gained through reading; even spoken words originate from the written word.

I would quote from Albert Einstein when he said: “The ruling class has the schools and press under its thumb. This enables it to sway the emotions of the masses”.

Lots of our fellow citizens are victims of a smooth process of complete “sheepization” Which means transforming the mass into sheep, then controling them as you would control a flock of sheep.

In countries of tyranny where open minds are in closed jails, anything that can raise intellectual awareness or unshackle people from the holy idols of backwardness is prohibited. Our leaders are certainly sure that the most effective way to enslave a nation is to invest in its short term and long term ignorance.

For this to succeed, the quality of education given to the lower social classes must be as poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance between the lower classes and upper classes remains wide, making it totally impossible for the lower classes to attain a higher level in society. In other words, our leaders consider a well educated population as a threat.

Hassan Bendouz is a teacher of English. He has been teaching English since 2003. He studied English language and literature at Iben Zoher University, where he earned his B.A. He graduated from the Center pédagogique régionale in Agadir as a junior high school teacher of English. He attended and participated in several Regional colloquium of the Moroccan Association of Teachers of English (MATE). He is currently an active member of “Mobadara”, a civil association that seeks to promote the schooling of girls in rural areas of his region. He has published a couple of articles and personal reflections in different publications.



  • Elena Terrizzi

    A really great article!iIn italy there is a similar situation and there are some famous politician who made of the ignorance their flagship! we can’t stop the sheepization but we must find wises and honest sheperds i think… Thanks Hassan for your work!

  • Afalkay

    In fact, our educational and religious institutions have become a strategic weapon to spread ignorance, and even more to fight against knowledge and free minds!

    Thanks for this “free word”.

  • Olasri B

    “Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I tell you ; Education, education, education” Tony blair, 1997, Thanks Mr, you leave me no way to rebuke our officials, you did what is required, all developing countries have made a great deal toward education, whereas, Moroccan officials still barking and braying for each other for a span of time in parliament, before they join together the luxury feast with a burst of laugh

  • Sarah Brewster

    this is thought provoking and well written. I guess thats why we see revolutions led by students which provokes tyrannies to vial acts against society

  • Stanley Huynh

    another great article sir !

  • Gewissens Bliss

    Wonderful article! But you find sheep all around the world. And i doubt many of them enjoy being shepherded because it is very comfortable to blame others for their miseries. Being responsible, solving problems by using the own brain is a hard job for some.