History, Politics and Education Paper
Education affects almost every aspect of human development. Education is the means by which a country can open its potential for economic development, thus, any effort to improve education levels will transform all aspects of social growth and development. However, global education has encountered several challenges, and the main challenge to the global education is the achievement of universal education. It has not been easy for every individual to acquire long-term learning experiences in one’s country, as everyone should be prepared to meet the world’s dynamics through education. It has become a concern that the push for universal education globally has not gained speed in several countries. The aim of universal education is to encourage and facilitate systems thinking, and to assist students to think in that direction (Gehlert, Ressler & Baylon, 2013). This study will focus on how lack of universal education could affect global education, and how countries could resolve this challenge to achieve social, political and economic goals.
Universal Education as a Challenge to Global Education
Education systems always tend to generate new sets of challenges once a problem is resolved. It has never been easy to reduce the dropout rate in some regions, in addition to ensuring that what the students read is useful in shaping their future. One of the still killers that are toppling the developing world is lack of universal education for a considerable number of underprivileged children. Universal education involves having a singular and widespread education experience that holds the same expansive purpose for all. Many children, especially in the developing world, do not go to school, hence, threatening the millennium goal of universal primary education.
Universal education began in the 16th century in Europe, as people began to search for the concept of an individual. Although the concept is nowadays taken for granted, searching for the concept of individual elicited great social and enlightening waves in the 16th century and began to undercut the corporate trait of the ancient society. The spread of religion in Europe encouraged the ideas of educating individuals in schools to encourage a particular sense of personal conscience, which would enable them to conserve their souls, and to be loyal to their leaders. In addition, the idea of creating autonomous individuals, who, because of reason, would comply with laws, in addition to support public good, led to emergence of universal education. The fruits of universal education continued to be enjoyed even in the 20th century, when the universal education was perceived as the key to address social and economic issues worldwide.
Political and economic ideas have emerged to promote universal education, unlike when issues of education were dealt through psychological and social spheres. Human rights activists perceive universal education as unavoidable for promotion of social justice, as well as human rights. In economic view, universal education was perceived as a form of developing better workers, as educated workers were punctual, obedient, and could endure long hours doing tedious jobs. Universal education is likely to transform the world’s economy, since educated people endeavor to live up to their expectations.
How Lack of Universal Education Could Impact Global Education
Universal education plays a decisive role in molding global education. Global business environment has termed universal education as a global challenge. The current number of students studying abroad depicts the need for a global mindset and culture diversity. The necessity to employ specialized workforce has risen exponentially, as employers continue to search for individuals who have undertaken specific training, rather than general training. However, when children fail to attain at least primary education, the likelihood of having unskilled workforce is quite high. Lack of universal primary education is a threat to system thinking, which is essential in making decisions.
Even in the 21st century, more than 67 million children who have attained the school age do not attend school throughout the world. If this trend persists, this number could rise up to 72 million before 2015. The world has already become a global village, thanks to the current technology, but it will be quite difficult to embrace globalization when many children, who are expected to be the future leaders, fail to get the basic universal education. The girl-child is the most vulnerable due to cultural norms. When girls fail to get education, they get married at a young age, and may not have adequate knowledge to cater for their young children. If girls are educated, they are likely to get married at later age, in addition to having fewer children.
In several communities, schools are places where children can find companionship, have adults to supervise them, access to clean water, as well as enjoy proper meals. If such societies do not encourage children to attend schools, then the world would be filled with lonely, ignorant, malnourished, disrespectful, and unhealthy children. Universal education can assist individuals with life skills, in addition to enlighten them on how to shun certain diseases.
Initiatives to Encourage Universal Education
Students today require a system thatallow them to develop competencies, which will train them to survive in a multifaceted world that is socially, economically, and politically dependent. In 1966, the international community committed itself to promote universal primary education, which is in line with the global call for economic, social, as well as cultural rights. UNICEF is assisting countries to implement their education policies through funding, as well as getting involved in decision-making processes that are likely to improve the level of education in those countries. The world body is working on achieving universal primary education through promoting gender equality and empowering women, as equal access to education is the basis for all development goals (Millennium Development Goals, n.d).
Respective governments should make primary education compulsory and free to encourage poor children to attend school. They should also invest on new technology to enhance the level of education in their countries. They should develop systems where students can access information that connects them to the outside world, in addition to integrating what they have learnt in their daily activities. Investment in universal education enables children to develop positive attitude towards life, and the desired to expand their knowledge is a boost to global education.
How Technology Can Resolve the Issue of Universal Education
Education is a social requirement, and individuals develop wisdom and knowledge from joining educational institutions. As technology persists in experiencing change, so is education. Globalization has necessitated individuals to embrace technology in order to enhance their social and economic relationships with outside world. Global education systems should take the advantage of the emerging technology to address the issue of universal education. The establishment of e-learning in local schools can enhance enrolment of children in schools. Governments should endeavor to provide children with laptops, or computers to facilitate their learning, and when the devices are connected to Internet, children can have a direct access to universal knowledge. The “One Laptop per Child” initiative has been termed as the most ambitious, as well as popular education technology initiative that seemed to have a universal agenda of supporting “technology-enhanced learning” (Selwyn & Facer, 2013, p. 102). Initially, the cost of laptops could be quite high, but as more companies engage in providing the laptops, the price would go down.
Emerging digital learning should be exploited to encourage students to undertake self-directed learning, where they are free to create a network of learners both in local and international level. Tablet computing would enable students to access textbooks online, in addition to increased portability of study tools. Digital learning can assist in sharing of ideas freely in a combined learning environment. As technology continues to saturate educational programs, trainers should identify the best tools that can be deployed to assist in educating persons with moderate and severe intellectual disability (Ayres, Mechling & Sansosti, 2013). Mobile technologies have become quite common in many regions, thus, schools should take the advantage of this technology to instill life skills to students, since such skills are likely to assist them in their future endeavors.
Lack of universal education has influenced global education negatively, as uneducated people do not interact well in the global level. The millennium development goals may not be achieved if more children fail to achieve universal primary education, which is the foundation for collective knowledge. Global business deals require individuals to be knowledgeable and armed with relevant information. Governments have a responsibility to ensure that all children who have attained the school-going age have the opportunity to attain at least primary education by offering free and compulsory primary education. The government should collaborate with private companies to instill new technological applications in the education sector to enhance globalization and, consequently, global education. Mobile technology should also be enhanced to create a platform for gaining skills among school-going children and persons with disabilities.
Ayres, K., Mechling, L., & Sansosti, F. J. (2013). The Use of Mobile Technologies to Assist With Life Skills/Independence of Students with Moderate/Severe Intellectual Disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders: Considerations for the Future of School Psychology. Psychology In The Schools, 50(3), 259-271. doi:10.1002/pits.21673
Gehlert, K. M., Ressler, T., & Baylon, D. (2013). Global challenges demand global education of systems thinking. Human Systems Management, 32(2), 79-94. doi:10.3233/HSM-120777
In Selwyn, N., & In Facer, K. (2013). The politics of education and technology: Conflicts, controversies, and connections. New York , NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Millennium Development Goals (n.d). UNICEF, Achieve universal primary education. Retrieved on 22 September 2014 from http://www.unicef.org/mdg/education.html