Education in the Developing World

By Alisha Parikh, SED 2017

Last semester, taking the course IR/SO242: Globalization and World Poverty, was both eye-opening and thought-provoking. Discussions centered on a variety of issues affecting the countries in the poorer part of the world – the developing countries. One such issue we discussed was that of culture and education in third world countries. Because I have a strong interest in learning more about developing countries, a passion for education, and a dream of spreading education and schooling to those most in need, this issue was one that strongly resonated with me. The discussions were eye-opening in terms of the injustice to those children who were working in the fields as opposed to attending school because their families needed whatever source of income and labor they could get, to those girls who were uneducated because they were seen as inferior or not worth being educated, and to the many who were constricted by societal, cultural, and governmental norms and policies in receiving an education. The discussion was thought-provoking in the sense that it made me feel even more strongly about my dream of education as a realistic opportunity and privilege for all children.

Taking this course while pursuing my major in Early Childhood Education has made me realize the importance of educational opportunities in even the poorest cities. While as educators achieving this goal may seem ambitious, I believe that it is absolutely essential that we take whatever steps we can in working toward spreading education. I hope to one day have the opportunity to live and teach in a third-world country for an extended period of time. My step in achieving this goal on a more local level involves aspiring to teach in low-income urban settings. On a local level, I feel these particular settings are particularly in need of qualified teachers and valuable educational opportunities. Perhaps eventually then, I will be able to extend this experience on a more global level, shifting from low-income neighborhoods to some of the poorest cities in the developing world.

I strongly believe that education has extraordinary benefits and value to individuals, societies, and cultures. Whether we see education as a meaningful tool for individuals, a way of empowering societies, or unifying yet simultaneously diversifying cultures, education has the power of advancing some of the poorest countries in our world and eliminating some of the most severe injustices a portion of the population still faces today.

Alisha Parikh is a junior in the School of Education, majoring in Early Childhood Education