Integration of education system
Rajkumar Singh
The term ‘globalisation’ means the integration of economies and societies through cross-country flows of information, ideas, technologies, goods, services, capital, finance and people. Cross-border integration can have several dimensions — cultural, social, political and economic. In other words, the total education system of the world comes under one roof. It requires the unification of teaching curriculum, methodology and the upgrade of knowledge and system to remain in the context for efficiency and effectiveness by which transformation of knowledge in a justified manner to attain the goods of life. Globalisation in the historical context has an older origin than most people are prepared to acknowledge.
Two trends in the 1980s and 1990s influenced educational policies all over the world. In education, the changes brought on by globalisation have been manifested through various channels and mechanisms as reforms of structure, modes of financial administration and curriculum. In several countries, they were expressed in the adoption of neo-liberal policies, they led to attempts to cut public expenditure and to maximise the economic benefits of educational spending by increasing its efficiency and directing its goals to economic rather than social or cultural ends.
Meaning and global status
A positive step in this direction is, perhaps, the need to explore the use of innovative assessment procedures. The primary goals of authentic assessment which appear with the educational needs of contemporary globalised era are: (a) to develop the learner’s cognitive strategies for self-monitoring of progress; (b) to foster the learner’s ability for higher-order thinking skills; (c) to measure the progress against learner’s own development, not the norm; and (d) to provide more accurate evidence of a learner’s abilities than traditional tests. To the people of developing countries, in general, and educated mass all over the world, in particular, globalisation seems to be rather mild and well meaning, more like an imperceptible breeze, which blows silently, fills up the psychological atmosphere, creates a mental mood, inspires an intellectual attitude and finally settles down as a cultural climate-pervasive protein and ubiquitous.
Since its coming, globalisation is exercising a profound influence on education and two significant developments may clearly be cited: the first is the advent of education as a business and profitable activity and secondly the technological revolution has provided a new mode of delivering education. Especially the higher education system is increasingly becoming market-driven. Higher education has been a learning process and it enables us to become good citizens of a civil society but this foundation of education is being seriously eroded by globalisation and the market demand is influencing what is taught and researched in universities. As a result of privatisation, the system of education has widely proliferated and become profit-oriented that is widening the gap between the rich and the poor in terms of access to quality education. Especially in poor nations, students and their abilities are marred because of various situations such as the unavailability of multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary institutes, lack of research-based tutoring and high fee structure. The well-off strata choose amongst the top notch options and the middle level group is left with fewer institutes, which are screened on different criteria.
Follow-up govt actions
In response to the globalisation process, governments in general have viewed decentralisation as a way to increase efficiency by giving more responsibility to local level functionaries, which in turn, is expected to increase motivation and accountability. And as a part of liberalisation policy, it has been suggested that education should be progressively privatised and that access to it should be made subject to payment of appropriate prices. The government, therefore, encourages the establishment of a larger number of private institutions and even private universities are encouraged. Simultaneously, a mechanism to cater to the needs of those who cannot afford the payment of high fees is also being evolved. But despite this there is no end of the fear that the process of globalisation policy may apparently shape the perspective of educational reforms in favour of those who have already benefited from the system as they are in a position to influence policy is haunting those who are not in a position to influence policy.
For example in sphere of higher education, India is the third-largest higher education system, only behind the United States and China producing almost 2.5 million graduates every year. Hence there are enormous opportunities for professionals trained in Indian universities and to pursue their career in teaching and research also, in addition to opportunities available in industries and business. At present there are 425 universities and university-level institutions in India apart from around 20,000 colleges including 1,800 women’s colleges. The total enrolment of students in universities and colleges is approximately 12 million while the number of teachers is 4.5 lakh. Despite the large educational infrastructure, the efforts to privatise higher education in India by encouraging private agencies to set up institutions of higher learning have enjoyed limited success in general education. Also, the quality of higher education in India is poor and is facing enormous challenges in today’s global world.
Visible results of globalisation
There is no doubt in the fact that globalisation has created unprecedented new opportunities for sustainable development and poverty reduction, simultaneously it has posed great threats to employment and livelihoods, to the environment and to human society, in general. In particular, there is the possibility of erosion of national values by imbibing alien cultures. Several countries during this period of globalisation have gone into the issues of programmed learning, multi-media teaching, macro-micro teaching, distance learning and other problems relating to curriculum. But no subject has been so much neglected as the development of humanistic values, creativity, cultural, moral, emotional and spiritual dimensions of teaching-learning process. The threat is of the erosion of the rich and old culture of human values. So, globalisation has transformed education and will continue to do so, leaving us with a future that is more unpredictable than ever.
In the era of globalisation to achieve peace and happiness, the interests of both the individual and society should be taken into account. One cannot conceive of a society without individuals and the individual has no value without society. A truly composite cultural education will have to address simultaneously the requirements of global and national integration and the specific needs of particular culturally distinct communities, both in rural and urban settings.