Education Systems in South Asia
Home to almost a quarter of humanity, South Asia is marked by diversity of cultures, geography, and economies. Comprising mostly of middle- and lower-middle-income countries, there are similarities as well as unique features in problems of education and development faced by them. They have responded in multiple, sometimes contrasting, ways to the influence of globalization and in facing up to the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Buffeted by diverse forces, such as climate change and dangers of international terrorism, there is a new level of awareness today in the world including the region about common risks and dangers to humankind which demand collective and global response. A manifestation of this awareness is the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, to be achieved by 2030. The globalization context and the fast pace of economic growth in the region present both new challenges and opportunities. The flow of remittances from the global North to global South, and increasingly intraregion, for example, offers better educational choices for families. Another example is the potentials and challenges of educational application of digital technology, which is inextricably linked to globalization and economic change.
SDG 4, the overarching education goal, demands universal and inclusive participation in quality education up to the secondary level by 2030. Yet, over at least 11 million primary-age and almost 21 million lower secondary-age children in South Asia are not even in school, by recent UIS estimate. Civil society, nongovernmental organizations, and governments need to work together with a shared vision to improve the state of education.
We suggest that the discussion of globalization issues and their implications for education and human resource development lends support to the proposition that quality, equity, and inclusion in education are the critical themes in the exploration of objectives, strategies, and how these can be effectively pursued in educational development in South Asia.
KeywordsGlobalization Educational response to globalization Regional integration Sustainable Development Goals Inclusive education Quality education Inequality Education technology
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