The influence of globalization on education systems and education delivery is a topic that is increasingly being discussed among governments, teachers, students and communities. There are concerns on whether the education sector is benefitting from the positive effects of globalization or is it at risk from the negative impacts. This essay will argue that globalization has a vast influence on education systems and that there are ways in which the negative impacts of globalization can be controlled. This essay will unfold in three parts. Firstly, it will highlight the influences of globalization on education systems. Then it will discuss some positive and negative impacts of globalization on education systems.
Lastly, it will suggest some ways in which the negative effects of globalization can be controlled. “Education in the 21st century is marked by the vast influence of globalization and the drive for international comparability. In Fiji, as in the rest of the Pacific, this is no different. Education systems in the Fiji and the Pacific are characteristically informed and influenced by external push and pull factors which are reflective of globalization” (Koya, 2002). Globalization has been underway since the dawn of history. “It is now characterized by shrinking space and time and by vanishing borders. Globalizing processes are dismantling obstacles to movement. As a result, there has been an increasing flow of people, goods, services, ideas, technologies and information across international borders. In simple terms, globalization is defined as a ‘process that widens the extent and form of cross-border transactions among peoples, assets, goods and services and that deepens the economic interdependence between and among globalizing entities, which may be private or public institutions or governments” (Lubbers 2000). Globalization is a basically connecting different country together as a global village.
The explosion of knowledge and information in the era of information technology has somehow helped the globalization of education. The introduction of computers and internet has helped in the dissemination of information and knowledge to millions around the world. For example, through the internet, a researcher can get access to books and research work done in other parts of the world without having the need to travel. Thus, the emergence of technology-mediated learning has revolutionized the teaching and learning process. Moreover, globalization led to western universities realizing that there is a great opportunity available in third world countries to open their campuses there. Besides that, distance learning was also offered in developing countries. For example, the University of the South Pacific is a university that is not owned by the Fiji government. It is a foreign university which offers some courses that are not offered by any other universities in Fiji and the facilities and far better. For this reason the fees are high. As a result the cost of gaining access to quality, higher education has risen tremendously. The establishment of foreign universities has led to English becoming the dominant language. In addition, the internet and other technology-mediated learning have made the learning and mastering of English an inevitable thing for developing and underdeveloped countries. Furthermore, globalization has led to changes in the education systems because of migration. For example, teachers from different countries, who come to teach in Fiji, would teach students based on their own countries education system rather than adhering to Fiji’s education system. They also bring with them, their own ideas and ways of their own country to teach in Fiji schools.
The emigrants who come from overseas to Fiji also try to implement the knowledge of their own countries education system into Fiji’s education system. Teachers and education officers who have studied abroad and are now back in Fiji may also implement new techniques or ideas that they have learnt when they were abroad. Implementation of rules such as no corporal punishment and compulsory sports are just a few examples ideas that have been adapted from other countries. Positive impacts of globalization on Fiji’s education system are that new and innovative ideas come into Fiji from the education systems of overseas countries. Teachers from Fiji go abroad and study in certain countries and when they return to Fiji, they implement the knowledge and skills of that countries education system into Fiji. Additionally, increase in competition between schools both nationally and internationally enhances the quality of education provided. For example, Fiji has both local and internationally owned universities. This gives students a wider range of choice. Due to competition between universities, fees are becoming more affordable. Likewise, globalization has led to global sharing of knowledge or data. Children now are not restricted to the limited information that they are provided in their school textbooks. They now have access to a wide variety of information through the internet and that too within seconds.
For example, studymode.com is a website that allows students and teachers across the globe to share resources such as essays, notes or lectures with each other. With the advancement in technology, internet is now available on phones making it easier for people to access its resources. On the other hand, some negative impacts of globalization are that there is a huge technological gap between Fiji and other developed countries hence, the educational quality between these countries also differs. For example, students in developed countries have incentives such as one laptop per child, whereas schools in Fiji only have one computer per class. Hence, students in Fiji miss the opportunity to learn to use computers. Having access to the internet and other devices can also be a hindrance in the education of children. For example, students tend to spent more time on facebook than they spend on schoolwork. Loss of skilled labor is also a major problem in Fiji. People migrate to other countries and Fiji loses skilled teachers and this impact the education delivery. As a result, the Fiji government has to pay extra money to bring in teachers from overseas countries.
Thus, money that could have been utilized somewhere else is wasted. In conclusion, to control the negative impact of globalization on Fiji’s education system the Fiji government needs to come up with ways to decrease the migration of skilled labors from Fiji. Solutions could include a pay increase of teachers and education officials, organizing workshops for teachers to enhance their skills and incentives such as paid leave if they are sick. This would encourage teachers to teach in their own country instead of looking for better opportunities abroad and the Fiji government would save money. To stop students from misusing technology teachers and parents need to keep a close eye on their children to ensure that they are doing their school work.