The Intersection between the Global and Local in Educational Borrowing and Transfer

Since the great economic liberalization in India from 1990’s, neo liberalism is playing a significant role in the market. Education too has become a market space with extensive opportunities for different entities to devise policies and ensure its survival by legitimizing their clouts. Educational reforms through educational policies becomes relevant here.

Educational reform is illustrated as a quest to achieve an optimal education system through a process of ‘identifying’ and ‘adopting’ the practices of systems. These terms could be interpreted as loaded terms and cannot be taken in the literal sense of its meaning. One cannot hold this act of ‘emulation’ as bare imitation- instead, one needs to identify and unpack the several layers that underscore this ‘emulation’ i.e., whether its sheer copying, or if it is assimilation, appropriation and re-framing of ideas and practices.

It is impossible, in present-day world, not to use the interpretative framework of globalization to understand cross-national policy interactions that take into cognizance the fact that countries that are dependent on aid rely on external sources in the process of reform. Terms like, “international standards” and “efficient” sit well with local key- decision makers and they make use of these at a time when there is a requirement to generate reform pressure. The process ranges from illustrating a movement away from the past to gain validation from international actors and organizations Inherently, this existence of legitimacy crises in the educational system is the very reason why the phenomena of ‘lending’ comes in.

Present day education systems equate the notion of ‘effective learning’ with standard-based education reform and have witnessed a rise in quality assessment measures. The ‘standard based’ education reform and governance based on ‘numbers’ is a reiteration of how pedagogical language has soaked itself in the language and concepts of the larger economic framework. Hence, the motion of ideas and practices cannot be simply apportioned within two neatly dichotomized entities such as ‘global’ and ‘local’.  What is to be deduced is that -any policy formulated or transferred for the market undergoes a series of translations to meet global demand as well as local contingencies.

As far as India is concerned, we need to frame policy towards building up capacity in the market to create competently skilled workforce instead of slavish ones for the corporate sector on the bricks of constitutional principles of equality and social justice. NBA accredited colleges especially the best business schools in India are doing a commendable effort to create competently skilled workforce.

More than gaining hegemony of the global market, progress along with dignity of workforce is the need. In other words, the call has to be for equitable access and quality higher education for all.

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