250 million children across the world don’t receive basic education, largely because of inaccessibility to quality classrooms. Education’s purpose is to equip youth to shape a better world. However, in this world, a world that has enough resources and people for every corner of the planet, there is tremendous disparity in education access across nations.
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Let’s define global education as having a set standard of education quality across the globe. It should have no relation to where you live, where you grew up, or economic stance. When we talk about standardization, it refers to the eventual possibility that anyone, whether from Cuba or Hong Kong, has the same opportunities. Ultimately, education corresponds to social mobility, without which, people are trapped into the constraints of their socio-economic backgrounds.
It has been statically proven that without basic education, knowledge, and skills, the decision-making ability of youth is compromised by 30% or more. Uneducated youth are not able to appropriately make choices that affect their lives, as education plays a major role in these decisions. Global education, as described above, can only affect the future in a positive way. Therefore, Quality education is imperative for global education to be sustainable.
Today, the annual cost of providing all children with an education is US $149 billion in developing countries. By 2030, it is projected to reach US $340 billion. The lack of financial aid and economic stability in developing countries is a constant hindrance to global education. Although financial aid will help to decrease the amount of children unable to access quality education, it will not be enough ensure global education.
Despite the struggle to receive a strong education, movements such as the Teach For Movement and Khan Academy are educational platforms that have been consistently delivering quality education. These movements have been pioneers in the globalizing of education. While Teach For Movement is a global movement that is physically achieved by training individuals to teach for two years in school infrastructures that require improvement, Khan Academy is done digitally. By making videos that explain core points for all subjects, digital classrooms are very beneficial. Khan Academy has thrived by allowing children to learn, whether or not they have access to a classroom environment. Teach for Movement, on the other hand, demonstrates the efficacy of a teacher. It shows that expensive resources are not prerequisites to quality education; the key is the medium of the instructor.
Education inequity is a major factor of unemployment and weak economies in all countries. For some economically weak countries such as Pakistan, the estimated loss of resource is equivalent to the cost of a natural disaster, amounting to over 1.5 billion USD. If all students in developing countries had basic literacy, the amount of individuals living on less than 1.25 USD a day would be reduced by 12%. That’s 171 million people who can change their lives by improving their education.
Teach For Movement mobilizes those who live in countries with dense populations by training people of various profiles in what it takes to not only be a teacher, but a leader within a classroom. They have an easily adaptable model that has strict standards for training, ensuring that the people who become Fellows fulfill some basic requirements, and gain the potential to affect change. In other countries that struggle with certain populations having remote access to schools and classrooms, the digital option seems like the most viable one, contingent upon internet access. Various non-profit organizations are able to translate educational videos, specifically Khan Academy videos, into local languages and make them available offline. This will decrease the pressure on internet cost, and it is being piloted across countries; in India, the Central Square Foundation is translating Khan Academy videos, making them available in Hindi. Khan Academy is already available in multiple languages, but for places that are more remote, this is being solved through translation. Although it may be difficult to ensure internet access, it is still much easier for national governments to work towards internet access than it may be to address the various other issues that crop up when working to ensure quality in education. This movement ensures both quality instruction, as well as remote access, combatting two fundamental challenges to education standards across countries.
What it boils down to is that the solution to improving education, both access and quality, is through empowering the medium of instruction through which any form of education is disseminated. Movements in global education base their effectiveness on the effectiveness of the teacher; the movement is only as good as its teachers. With teachers being digital and physical, it accounts for all potential problems. By training people to become teachers suitable for their level of knowledge, it not only decreases unemployment, but it improves the issue of teacher shortage, which countries like India and Pakistan are increasingly facing. This movement, through its model education across countries is replicable, ensuring equal knowledge. Children living in rural areas in China, who have a 5% chance of going to college, will now have the same opportunity as anyone else. Global movements are changing education and creating better futures for all. Geographical boundaries divide countries and continents, but they shouldn’t limit education, and its impact.
Mana Mehta is a 16-year-old high school student, aspiring to be a political journalist. She is usually glued to a good book and watching political debates.