Education & Sport of Dynamo Island

The primary aim of education in Dynamo is to produce public-spirited and responsible citizens, with a wide knowledge of their own heritage, the natural environment, and broad understanding of the wider world. Schooling begins at 5 years of age, with a shift at 12 years to secondary schooling. At 16 pupils have the choice either to move for a further two years to a technical or special skills college or to remain in school for two years to prepare for university entry. All education in Dynamo is nationally funded. There are no private schools. Sport and physical fitness are strongly promoted, with physical education forming part of every pupil’s daily curriculum. The importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle is emphasized. Although there is liaison between teachers and parents, school is seen as being an independent institution in which pupils submit to a discipline and ethos that is not subject to interference from parents. All primary schools are co—educational but at secondary level, students (in the larger cities at least) have the to choice to opt for single-sex or co-educational institutions. Boarding is an option, in particular for students attending single-sex schools. All secondary school pupils wear a uniform. Sports wear at school is worn for sports only. All students at the age of 18, regardless of social or financial background, are obliged to do one year of national service in the army, navy or air-force, or in a caring profession – medical or social/ welfare. In this way, students learn about the essential structures and values of Dynamo society and come into contact with a wide range of people and skills. Every student acquires a thorough knowledge of at least one foreign language, with a strong emphasis on European languages, including Latin. Philosophy and ethics are a compulsory part of the secondary-school curriculum. TV and radio are state-owned and strictly non-commercial. There are four TV channels, devoted to news, sport, arts/music, and popular culture/entertainment.

In Dynamo, the university system is largely state-funded though many private firms also subvention specific research projects or establish professorships or centres. Universities are not run as commercial concerns but adhere to the ethos of universities in Britain and Europe before the 1980s when liberal economics began to undermine the academic freedom formerly taken for granted in third-level academic institutions. In other words, independent research as well as collaborative ventures (on a national as well as an international level) is highly valued and agendaS from the world of industry and commerce are not imposed on third-level institutions. In Dynamo, undergraduate students do not pay university fees and are given a minimal maintenance grant if they choose to study at a university outside their home province. As in other countries in the European Union, a year abroad is either strongly encouraged or integral to every degree programme, and there are many exchange relationships with European and North American universities.

There are eight regional universities, one in each of the state capitals. The Hagel University in Odessa is the most prestigious owing to its cutting-edge research in physics and bio-science, but each of the eight leading universities has an international reputation in at least one of its key disciplines. The national observatory high in the Handlebar Mountains of Sparta, attached to Rugby University, is linked into a network of radio-telescopes in Europe and America and Dynamoan scientists play an important role in the CERN project. Recycling, wind- and wave-power technology, hydro-electric engineering are key areas of Dynamoan technical expertise, as are train, tram and civic aeronautical research and development. The arts and humanities are as highly rated as the sciences in Dynamo: Anasi University has an internationally recognized film school, while Hubcaster is famous for its School of History and Veloxeter for its centre for creative writing. Dynamo’s sports institutes in March, Boxcaster, Hadrianopolis, Odessa and Rugby attract students from all over the western world.

Dynamo Island’s strong martial tradition meant that from Roman times sport was encouraged among young men both as a preparation for military service but also as a beneficial activity in its own right. The Latin motto Mens sana in corpore sano became generally accepted, and physical culture recognised as important as social, moral and cultural development. The gymnasium thus became an integral part of education in Dynamo. The presence of violence in human life is recognized and sport encouraged as a means of giving a socially acceptable outlet to that violence. So for example, boxing is a sport offered in all boys’ schools and valued for the way it teaches respect for the other, physical courage, mental toughness and a spirit of fair play. Other Anglo-Saxon sports, in particular cricket and rugby, are similarly promoted nationally.

Another aspect of sport that is valued is the way it brings the human body into dynamic contact with the real or natural environment. Water sports – whether rowing, swimming, sailing or canoeing – all teach the sportsman and sportswoman much about the energy and resistance of natural phenomena such as wind, water, tide and current. Similarly, riding, hunting, shooting and fishing are practiced (under strict guidelines) so that humans enter into a vital and intelligent relationship with the natural world and, like indigenous tribes, learn to respect it even as they partly control it. There are no zoos in Dynamo and all farm animals and birds are permitted to range freely, the concept of ‘factory farming’ being rejected as an abomination. In this way, everyone is aware of natural processes and has a deeper understanding of the complexity of the ecological balance.

All Dynamoans, male and female, are encouraged to continue participating in sport throughout their lives. The strong social binding element of local and national teams and clubs is clearly recognized. Although, as in most of the rest of the world, some sports – in particular boxing, cricket, football and rugby – have become professionalised, the amateur participation in these and other sports is strongly encouraged – both by generous funding on a regional and a national level, and the provision of proper facilities in schools and regional towns as well as provincial capitals and large cities. With the turn-of-the-century revival of the Olympic spirit, centres of excellence were established with national academies of athletics (at Veloxeter with its Halton Athletics Stadium) boxing (at Boxcaster), Cricket (at March, home of the country’s leading cricket team, the MCC), Rugby (at Rugby), Sailing at Quinnport on Maurice Island, and so on.

Dynamoan Sports

The country’s leading national sport is cycling, with the national cycling academy established at Hubcaster. Cycling is promoted not only as an enjoyable sport in its own right, as an excellent form of exercise for both sexes and all ages, and as a highly efficient means of transport, but also for ethical reasons: the bicycle enables humans to enter into a constructive relationship with the physical environment in which energy, movement and a sense of the real resistance and forces at play in the natural world and in the human body are recognized. The idea of producing power from human energy that is put to human use within a balanced ecological equation is central to Dynamo island’s understanding of man’s role in the world. The dynamo principle thus became central to the island community’s ethos and is reflected not only in the country’s name but also in much of its national symbolism. The annual Tour of Dynamo cycle race that lasts for ten days and is open to men and women within a wide range of categories, constitutes a kind of national celebration of this principle. In taking its participants on a spectacular route through all the eight provinces of the country (including Maurice Island) it also draws public attention to the beauty and variety of the island’s natural scenery. To have competed at least once in the Tour of Dyamo is for Dynamoans equivalent to every orthodox Moslem’s ambition to make the pilgrimage to Mecca.