Globalization in Developing Nations

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One thought that has been on my mind for an extended period of time is: how do educators and health professionals in developed nations think about the ways in which they could instill “valuable” health and educational resources in developing nations without uprooting the values of these nations? Yes, globalization has been a great aid in supporting human rights, because one of its core purposes is to connect/transfer ideas, services, and goods across the world to benefit people on a broader scale. However, there are global challenges to the transferal of ideas, services, and goods that are based on incongruent cultures. I believe that there are ways in which leading health and educational professionals from places like Europe, America, and Canada can go into other less developed countries with advances in education and health care in order to better their quality of life. But, what is necessary for “better quality of life” may not run parallel in many cultures, and the technological assistance provided by these territories may appear intrusive. I am interested in this conference because I want to know the ways in which educational and health reform in developing nations can significantly benefit from globalization without huge rejections of the methods and ideologies of developed nations.globalization

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in essence states that, everyone has the right to education; education should be free and compulsory in primary education and accessible in tertiary education. It then goes on to say in section 2 that education should be directed to the full development of the human personality, to the strengthening of respect for human rights, and to the promotion of tolerance of cultures among all countries in the world in order to maintain peace. Lastly, and the part that drew my attention the most, section 3 stated that, parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. In my mind, this section means that parents have a right to determine how their children should be taught; it does not say that parents always have that right, and it does not say that parents always have the best interests of their children’s educational needs at heart. These holes in the language in some ways permit the overriding of the parents status and the transferal of that status to people who have been trained to have the best interests of the children’s education at heart, or to people who have deemed that the parents are not fit to determine what their children should or should not be taught.

I say this all to say that people are endowed with certain inalienable rights that can be misconstrued to suit specific contexts. Do the parents have the right to determine their children’s educational needs all the time? I do not have an answer to this question, and neither does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This brings up the issue of who is best suited to regulate how children are educated and for what purpose children are educated. For example, some cultures may see it as an absolute need for the parents to control how their children are taught, and in other cultures, some parents may put the educational needs of their children on the shoulders of the teachers in the classroom. There is a predicament when these two viewpoints clash, and they could clash in any country. This lack of consensus could be helped by a global viewpoint on education, but it could also be exacerbated depending on the side the view point takes. If these two viewpoints continue to clash, children trapped in the disagreement could suffer a loss. In addition, there are certain benefits, I believe, that children can gain in having these two viewpoints working together. A global outlook is dependent on a general outlook on what is best across several nations; though, it may not always be best in a specific situation.  How I view the loopholes in the Declaration as it relates to education can also be applied to healthcare, but I will leave that discussion for a later blog.

About the Author: I’m Alicia R. Selman. I have a Bachelor of Arts, and I majored in American Studies and Philosophy.  I am interested in being a part of this conference because I am from Barbados, a developing nation, and I believe that I can contribute in a unique way to the discussions on the topics of human rights and globalization.