EDUCATION: A TOOL FOR WORLD PEACE (FEATURE)
Education does not simply train the minds of individuals; it can also benefit the world at large
Education is enshrined by the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), which stipulates that every child has the right to a free education. In other words, a child is entitled by right to go to school. Nations have started making education free at basics level while others have simply extended free education to both post primary and tertiary levels.
What is education? According to the basic definition, education is simply the acquisition of knowledge. Knowledge, as they say, is power and over the years richer nations have oppressed poorer ones through their higher level of education, which can be witnessed in areas such as science, technology, economics and sports. When Alexandra the Great conquered the world in the early centuries, the Greeks boasted of the best brains in different spheres of life. Likewise, when Rome was the capital of the world, the Romans were people of great intellect.
Today, the United States of America is unarguably the most powerful nation on earth and its education over the years has helped it to attain this great height. Their greatest strength stems from their foresight in opening up their schools and colleges to brains across the world, irrespective of race, religion and even ethnicity.
Today, any average individual in either Africa or Asia would want to go to America to either study, work or live. The President of America, Barack Obama, is also a product of this process. Even though he was born in America, he overcame great odds to become the most powerful black man in the a land due to education over the years.
Today, Britain’s mixed culture can been traced to students who who came from different parts of the world to gain knowledge and who eventually settled to live. Outside of Africa, Britain has the single largest concentration of blacks in the whole of Europe. This was witnessed in this summer’s Olympic games, which were hosted by London.
Education as a tool for world peace cannot be over emphasied because education helps to loosen mundane thinking patterns associated with culture and race, thus shining a new light into our medulla oblongatas. Nations opening up their educational systems for others have long benefited economically and socially. Foreigners abound in many strange lands, transforming the fortunes of their host countries in a positive way. There may be some negative consequences, but the positive effects are enormous.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has gladly emulated this gesture as it has welcomed students from across the world to study in their tertiary institutions without prejudice, and it has continuously reaped bountifully from it. With the warmth and friendliness of the Turkish Cypriots, students are fully integrating into into the Cypriot society, irrespective of their language, beliefs, ideologies and race.
After the completion of either an undergraduate or graduate programme in a foreign land, there arises a new thought pattern peculiar to the country of study as opposed to the one deriving form a student’s country of origin, which may be archaic and uncivil. This has been the breeding ground of national liberators and Civil Rights activists over the years. Above all, education is an unalloyed tool for peace when efficiently and effectively optimised.
AJIWOJU OLUSEGUN. J