Globalization of Indian Education

In India as elsewhere, development of economic production, ICT and globalization are very much interlinked forces. Globalization of education in Indian scenario has lead on one hand to the funding of literacy and UEE schemes such as DPEP and SSA by international funding agencies while on the other hand to opening up of field of education for private as well as international players. It is expected that privatisation and globalization of education would increase educational opportunities as well as quality of education by setting up a large number of competitive educational institutions. However mushrooming of private educational institutions in India especially in higher education is matter of concern for various reasons but most importantly because education becomes contingent with the purchasing power of the clientele in a country like India where millions are still living below poverty line. Certain features of globalization and its impact on education in Indian context are as follows:

  1. Non-uniform Distribution of Benefits of Globalization Globalization is associated with the great advantages of contemporary technology, the well established efficiency of international trade and exchange and the social and economic benefits of living in an open society. The benefits of globalization are however not distributed uniformly across all sections of the society. Markets are considered to be powerful engines of economic progress. The state is however responsible for applying checks and balances to the functioning of market. But in economies where state fails to perform this function and markets have an uncontrolled freedom, it becomes difficult to control accumulation of wealth and to ensure that the public expenditure on education, health etc. could be maintained.
  2. Commodification of Education Globalization has led to commodification of education by offering commercial benefits and employment opportunities and luring the state into its economic vortex. This has resulted in the shift from welfare to market models in education by the state in India. The disturbing point about this shift is that when the purchasing capacity of the majority remains low, it becomes difficult to buy education and therefore the majority of Indians- poor, dalits and the girl child- are getting alienated from education.
  3. Deterioration of Government Educational Institutions Government acting at the behest of private capital, has brought about privatisation and corporatisation of school education by closing down its own schools then selling off its assets. Deliberately allowing the quality of education provided by government schools to deteriorate sets the stage for replacement of these by the fee charging private schools. Higher education now is going through the same path.
  4. Degrading of Value System Globalization has brought previous theories of education under enormous stress, rendering questions of equality, dignity of individuals, and social justice exceedingly difficult to handle since for many, education in a globalized society signifies a desperate means to find employment in a competitive market.
  5. De-contextualised Education Foreign universities or study centres opening up in the country provide education according to the curriculum developed in their home countries. Such curriculum is in the context of and according to the needs of the home country of the university. Therefore an important parameter of quality of education, i.e. education according to the needs, interests and context of the learner is neglected.

As a result of globalization, education, considered to be the state’s responsibility, is being thrown open to market. In Indian situation, where farmers have been committing suicide, and hunger is staring the poor people, the facts indicate unambiguously that it is poor and marginalized who remain deprived of education, it becomes difficult to imagine how globalization can help alleviate the situation.

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