The perspective towards whether education provides a widespread effect in America or not, has been one of the important questions in the field of education. The debate is primarily aimed at the influence of education in terms of promoting democracy in America. A response to this raised a prominent point towards education being one of the influential factors for the success of a nation. Garca Machel in a statement referred to this aspect by mentioning that the word that encompasses the importance of education can be summarized in the meaning of “empowerment” (Global, E. F. A. Overcoming inequality: why governance matters). From a critical understanding in regards to education reveals that it serves as the basic commodity presenting its importance in aspects of spreading literacy, building confidence, and making education accessible for children belonging to poor economic class. Providing education to marginalized children and those belonging to poor economic class will enable the youth group to participate in local bodies of politics that are directly related to management of resources such as health, education and water. Numerous research revealed that education is playing a dominant role in primary schools, endorsing democracy and presenting people with an understanding towards the nullification or rejection of non-democratic motives or alternatives.
The effects of education as a widespread influence towards democracy in America, will be further discussed in the paper.
During the year 1970, numerous breakdowns in the regime for Latin Americans brought around a challenging perspective on the well-known belief that education was a promoter and enabler of democracy among the people or in a society. This perception towards the profound relation in between democracy and education served as the central point of focus during the creation and specifications of different systems, created to serve in the domain of public education during the year 1816. An argentine educator by the name of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento presented the proposal for the establishment of “The popular school” aiming at unifying children from different ethnic backgrounds and providing them with educational means to serve as citizens in the newly independent republics of America. Sarmiento extensively emphasized on the importance of education as a means for bringing about a change in society and giving birth to effective citizenship. Sarmiento’s ideas had an extensive reach over various countries inclusive of Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, these countries being the proud promoters of education and owning a well formulated education system with higher achievements. Around the time of collapse in the democratic system, in different countries around the year 1970, people began to question the validity of education in terms of its influence towards educating people about democracy. Although in consideration of this, present day scenario presents a different aspect towards the importance implied for education and democracy since the authoritarian shadows have begun to resurface in different states of America.
In consideration towards education’s role in preserving and promoting democracy, it is also understood that education by itself does not imply any effects or changes in the social, economic and political structures in a country. However, education can present an effective method of contribution for democracy and democratic form of citizenship in two well researched methods. The first method outlines the importance of making education accessible for children from different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. Notably in the last century, most of the Latin American’s demonstrated the usefulness of this approach by expanding education and making it accessible for every child in the country, as well as making it mandatory throughout the country. Although, surveys into this matter later revealed the efforts to be effective but enough to bring about a relative change in the system. The second method outlines the approach towards identification of citizens who show an interest towards democracy and specifically supplying them with the needed skills, values and democratic knowledge to reform their attitude and prepare them as effective democratic citizens. A popular belief suggests that most of the efforts in terms of providing citizens with the basic education of democracy have been through means of educating children about human rights, forms of democratic governance, and seeking out optimal means of resolving conflicts in a peaceful manner. Among other forms of educational institutes that provide this form of education were noticeably non-governmental organizations, with coursing classes spanning for short duration of time. This is mainly due to initiatives for democratic awareness education, taken by the Government, are restricted to courses for Civic Education but these courses are only taught to individuals that display an understanding for a higher theoretical form. The theoretical courses are mostly associated with authoritarian or traditional style, which in a comparison to a student’s experiences in daily life, holds no meaning or value. Another important point is that the Civic education provided to youth, has mostly been used under the guiding principles of Authoritarian regimes to provide a supportive inclination towards their well-defined non-democratic forms of government and the practices listed for this system. An example of this can be seen in the curriculum prepared for the Citizen Education system, being practiced in China and former Soviet Union. The curriculum for Citizen Education in before mentioned countries outlined the importance of government in terms of decision and policy formulation and the role of the citizen being limited to simply obeying them, without raising any questions or objections against the system. A noticeable flaw in this system dictates that citizens from these two countries did not fully comprehend the importance of their participation in the society.
The requirements for the democratic system to work in an efficient and effective manner require that every individual in the society presents a willingness for understanding democracy. These individuals should also exhibit their interest for the political, social and economic and governmental processes in their communities. These processes are to be designed in a way which if implemented on social and communal levels should present respect for upholding standards of human rights, for every able person in the system. However an analysis in the general and civic education system suggests that the efforts towards preparing an individual to fully realize and comprehend their place in democracy is provided through these two means of education but more is still needed to improve it. This need can further be simplified into the need of educating an individual to fully recognize the skills and abilities needed for a democratic system, the need of moral values in association with ideals and principles based on democracy, motivating every individual to involve themselves and fully act according to the teachings of democracy. Understanding these terms will prepare an individual towards actively participating in the democratic functions of their society. This can only be achieved if an emphasis on the younger generation is present that is centered on conveying them the knowledge, skill and understanding of democracy in their schools. This is essential since this younger generation as proper democratic citizens will serve both the community and their country in a prominent manner. Noticed from previous studies, it was revealed that most of the countries that exhibited a light inclination towards a democratic form of government exhibited signs of democracy having little to no involvement in their media or the social institutions having no real public practices. In a system like this, where democracy has been introduced yet the public is not fully exposed to it, presents a realizable threat towards the democratic form of government, as most of the individuals will not understand their role or participation in the prevailing political, economic and social structures present around them.
Global, E. F. A. Overcoming inequality: why governance matters.
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