Soon the world will be connected through the Internet even for those who are at the bottom. Google and Facebook will be able to provide wifi connectivity to the poor bottom billions with their floating balloon and satellite technology. Soon IT products such computers will become so cheap and affordable. Look at the Raberry Pi. Here, one might feel with such connectivity and devices, the world cannot be more globalized. So what is the missing piece? Without English, these bottom billions will still have difficulties gaining a leveling field in this information era as developed countries.Without English, accessing information does not equal making use of information. Without English, those who are not native speakers and those who cannot afford English instructions are still at disadvantage economically such as understanding what is happening around them and what the rest of the world are up to. The world is truly globalized and information is leveled if everyone speaks the same language: TECHNOLOGY & ENGLISH. Technology brings ACCESSIBILTY of information while English brings COMPREHENSIBILITY. What would happen if everyone can understand English? One can only speculate. But for sure, more and more people will be able to make more use of their potentials and develop themselves by understanding the world outside.
Can we do without English? Does translation work? It would be beyond the affordability of poor countries to translate existing information. Even if the information can be translated, it will just become obsolete soon after that. There is no way poor countries can keep up with the translating cost considering how much information is already up there and how much new knowledge is being added every single minute.
How about translation software? Researchers don’t even come close to figuring out how human brain processes language. Plus human has the ability to create an infinite number of utterances according to the linguist, Noam Chomsky. And our language-wired brain will always be evolving considering the number of new words being coined continuously, the number of new grammatical structures being formed and wired into the brain, and the number of different dialects of each language. Human language is too complicated for a computer to handle.
In its forest view vs tree view, what does education have to do with a better world? Education should enable people to become more human and to make the most out of oneself no matter what environment they are in.To become more human is to be able to see a big picture of life in creating a sustainable world that will prosper not just oneself but people around oneself, and will sustain not just within this present generation but future generations. It is the ability to bring a better world beyond one’s self-interest, which transcends the barriers of race and religion.To make the most of oneself, education should not be just about getting educated people to look for their best opportunities but to create their best opportunities no matter what situation they are in.
Everyone has something to contribute to a better world, but they need a means to do so. At the current state, people could not have contributed to the world as much as their ability allows them to. There are smart people out there in remote corners of the world who could not make much use of themselves due the lack of access to quality education.
Education needs to make the most use out of humanity by providing a means to accommodate their different individualities and to churn out their individual potentials. There is no single approach to success; there is always more than one way to achieve the same goal. Some people might be slow, some might be reserved, but they all can be successful by walking their own paths. Online education will not be a replacement to conventional classroom education, but rather a complement. It provides an extra choice to those who might not fit into the conventional system because of their approaches of doing things and because of their deprived environment. Online education can bridge the gap in education by bringing quality education to those the conventional system cannot afford or reach out to.
Uneducated people only exist if they choose to do be so. Education should be a choice. If people want education, there should be a means for them to do so and the means may not be conventional classrooms.