Public Exams Results are Out-think Global Education!
By Brian Maregedze*
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
Education still matters! Staggering unemployment statistics in Africa may cause excruciating pain not only to learners but even parents, guardians, and sponsors in the education system. Excelling with exceptional results at both ordinary level and advanced levels has its perks and moments of sadness. Yes, moments of sadness. Getting a place at university has not been easy in South Africa with protests unfolding in some circumstances over fees and the competitive demands of higher education to mention only these among other challenges. To the north, just across the Limpopo is Zimbabwe’s unending crises which has arguably altered the way learners perceive the value of education.
Given the various challenges affecting the educational systems of these countries, it is critical to make sense of the timely publication, Creating the Citizens of the Future: How Global Education is Critical to Success (2021) by the Award-winning author Liza Manoussis. The book offers a ray of hope needed among learners located in Southern Africa and beyond confronted with the complex uncertainty associated with pursuing higher education. The learners who wrote their public exams in 2020 belong to those born under the Zimbabwe crises while down South Africa, the decolonisation agenda and the #feesmustfall have gained much traction in academic discussions.
In her book, Lisa Manoussis makes the case for international education from an authoritative locus as a consultant with a wealth of experience under her banner Global Education. In this globalised village, a global citizen becomes essential unlike before. The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has significantly dragged many to the demands of technologically active 21st century users. Although economic challenges have been seriously an issue to many people, educationally it’s crucial to tolerate the ‘fancy thoughts’ of international education or learning from institutions beyond your localities. The window through which one can be a global citizen can be easily gleaned after tolerating some perks intricately connected to thinking global. It’s true, a locality perspective in pursuing higher education in Zimbabwe and its financial rewards if there are any does dampen the enthusiasm, faith and hope found among the young learners well-armed with their excellent high school results.
However, some sections of the society have been also positing questions on the efficacy and assessment steps undertaken to fully consider pass rates and circumstances surrounding the 2020 learning year. Notwithstanding the many challenges encountered by learners who sat for public exams in 2020, it’s crucial to reflect on the possibilities which abound in pursuing international education. This does not suggest and or imply that local education is insignificant but rather in the quest for being a global citizen, pursuing higher education beyond your borders has its perks.
The new normal characterised by strict lockdowns measures imposed over a year ago in Zimbabwe, South Africa and other countries in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 offer an opportune time for tolerance to ‘world mindedness’ among parents and learners. According to Liza, this entails viewing the needs of the individual in the context of the overall needs of the planet. More importantly, a child-centered approach with a motivation to persuade and inculcate holistic understanding of human values, beliefs, history, cross-cultural understandings, global systems and global issues (p.69). It’s undisputed that the shifting locus of education gestures towards broader perspectives and skills which are vital for small communities as well as on a global scale.
A global appeal to education with international experience unlocks the learners’ passion in some circumstances taken for granted. Learning about the SELF is flexibly explored while simultaneously finding the transformative edge to improve families and communities. The leap towards global citizenship should be tolerated and normalised by learners and parents alike.
The quest for pursuing international education has its downside. It’s however the sacrifice which counts in this life-changing journey. The bureaucratic hustles, putting the necessary travel documentation in place, requirements pertaining recommendations, making the final decision on the course/s, degree to pursue, and of course the financial muscles needed among other critical aspects are a daunting task to both the learner and parents. Fortunately, the good news worth paying attention to is that Global Education equips those with a quest to think global and learn with the necessary skills and or tools.
Furthermore, research has proven that 80% of opportunities are born out of networking. The majority of successful learners, business-people in the world build strong networks which they use as synergies for continuous growth. Put simply, who you hang around with matters in the career development equation. Making long term goals in life demands sacrifices that even in the face of discouragement, determination and perseverance are key to remain focused.
The story of Liza Manoussis is a living testimony to all these virtues as she accounts for each and every step she went through her journey to greatness in educational consultants. No wonder in her dedication notes that, “…anything is possible through hard work, perseverance, and believing in yourself.” Faith with works can be noted from Liza’s personal experiences-. born in Sudan from parents of Greek origin, grew up in Zimbabwe from an early age, married by 18 years of age, fought her way up the struggles in the world of work as a worker and learner, later on relocated to South Africa and eventually became a global citizen always on the move dealing matters of scholarships, important meetings connecting education globally.
To gain more insights about Global Education, this link is useful www.globaleducation.co.za. I do encourage learners and parents to read this important 2021 publication which answers important questions about education in its current form as well as its future from lived realities of a consultant with over fifteen years of successfully guiding learners to transform their dreams into lived reality.
*Brian Maregedze is an author, historian, and columnist. He is currently a Lead Educator based in Johannesburg-South Africa. For feedback, email [email protected]