Importance of education in human capital formation is subject to debate in formulating education policies. The influence of globalization, impact of conflict on education, performance measurements for the various stages in education and knowledge transfer with the aim of creating a knowledge economy form the basis of discussion in instilling lifelong learning and forming human capital.
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Borghans and Heijke (2005) argue that governments have had structures to link education to the labor market for a long time. The authors reiterate these using six points of view regarding the informing nature of economies and labor market demands on education.
Green (2002) who seems to share similar sentiments with Borghans and Heijke (2005) argue that political and economic efficiency of the production process of education are critical to its success.
Although globalization centers on policymaking in divulging knowledge, Jallabe and Mora (2001) digress. They argue that universities’ adherence to Lifelong Learning is hampered, to some extent, by national policies, academic traditions and financial pressures.
The manner in which international discourse on Lifelong Learning affects policy-making remains vague and subject to the above factors.
This contrasts with Aucoin (2011) who critically elucidates on the massive opportunities and threats that globalization and embracing of ICT has brought to human capital formation and policy formulation.
Aucoin (2011) compares knowledge societies and knowledge economies of developing nations and developed nations. Developed nations pursue knowledge economies, which is the basis for comparative advantage.
Doyle (2008) compares systems of education in France and England based on the PISA 2000 benchmark. She looks critically at the PISA program concerning inequality in attainment of education and inequality levels.
The study finds the PISA program useful for comparison of inequality but finds fault in its use as a performance tool in comparing pupils and students. Doyle (2008) finds that the traditional setting of a country is a contributor to the performance of students.
Previous studies echo the same sentiments (Green 2002, Borghans and Heijke 2005).
Additionally, the study questions the universal applicability of the parameters PISA uses to measure the level of proficiency in reading literacy. This includes retrieving information, interpreting texts and reflection.
Fuchs and Wößmann (2007) dissect the PISA program as a tool to measure students’ performance.
The study finds that institutional contribution to students’ performance is significantly low compared to other factors such as family backgrounds, inputs from home and availability of useful education resources. They term these as ‘student characteristics’.
In contrast to Doyle (2008), this study analyzes the effect of external exam and budget formulation. Additionally, the two look at the autonomy of a school while selecting crucial learning materials (such as textbooks), hiring tutors and the allocation of budget within the school.
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This has been contentious and empirical evidence has not conclusively supported or negated the findings of this study.
Over time, the definition of education concerning policymaking and its consequences has been a subject of many studies (Carpenter and Hughes 2011). Carpenter and Hughes (2011) examine the speeches of political leaders and policymakers over a period of seven years.
This gubernatorial rhetoric, as Carpenter and Hughes (2011) find, centers on the efficiency that education brings to the economy. The two conclude that the rhetoric that seems to define education with an economic dimension ignores other important needs for education.
They state other crucial educational benefits such as self-realization, civic responsibility, development of human relationships and economic efficiency (Carpenter and Hughes 2011, pg 6). Fuchs and Wößmann (2007) discuss the issue of exit examinations thoroughly.
They conclude that performance in math and science subjects have a positive correlation with exit exams. They also find that private institutions have a higher performance than public institutions.
Fuchs and Wößmann (2007), however, note that public institutions with private finding do not measure up with private institutions. Other empirical studies had concluded as such with a little digression when it comes to the science subject.
Currently, the world is constantly engulfed in fear of war. Selected countries have had long spells of unrest especially in the developing world. The effect of war on education has been passively mentioned in various studies (Borghans and Heijke 2005, Fuchs and Wößmann 2007).
Davies (2005) takes an in-depth look into the effects of war on education and the ways in which education contributes or propagates wars. The study argues that education creates divisions (religious, ethnic, status) which make some people feel inferior (Lindahl and Cain 2012).
The root of this is selective application of education, distortion of curricula, creation of fear and competition. She reiterates that this may not be obvious to curriculum developers.
However, continued emphasis in media, and at the society level makes education seem like a demigod (Lindahl and Cain 2012).
However, Davies (2005), who looks at it from a positive and negative side, (Carpenter and Hughes 2011) empirically, proves that sentiments of this nature do not solve the underlying problems. Additionally, Aucoin (2011) digresses by saying that this view is archaic.
His study on the globalization and education impact on war, suggests that time has come for each person to have an education.
However, the study states clearly that advancement of knowledge societies should be the concern of governments. Rather, governments should not focus on knowledge economics since this creates divides and hence sentiments towards educated segments.
Davies (2005) points out positive aspects such as global education citizenship and peace education initiatives. The study outlines initiatives that the author finds possibly useful in quelling the fear of the educated.
However, these initiatives may not be universally applicable according to Carpenter and Hughes (2011). However, it is evident that Davies (2005) laments the fact that war and aggression will never cease in the world.
This means that education may continue to be threatened or it may continue to threaten peace in the world.
Although many international organizations have been trying to enact universal education (Jallabe and Mora 2001) through LLL, majority of countries have disseminated national LLLs. They are specifically configured to make the countries more competitive. This includes EU and US.
The two main objectives of LLL are social and economic. However, in countries where precedence over the proposed LLL has been overlooked, there are other priorities. This includes solving unemployment problems, labor market development and career development.
This is similar to the situation in the United States (Carpenter and Hughes 2011). In Canada according to a study by Aucoin (2011), policies tend to be geared towards nationalization. However, there is a relaxed adherence to LLL.
Lifelong learning in the education sector benefits nations that have increasingly seen the need for universal education (Lindahl and Cain 2012).
The disadvantage with LLL is that there are countries that are barely able to meet the needs of the basic education, let alone other issues like health care and infrastructure developments (Jallabe & Mora 2001, 369). Making these countries take on LLL exposes them to financial difficulties.
Learning on a globalized scale has various effects on different countries. With the practice, demography change and globalization are seen to determine the education system and its influence in the lives of the individuals (Green 2002).
Evidently, human capital formation is the central theme in the dissemination of knowledge (Green 2002). However, it has taken an economic and national dimension (Jallabe and Mora 2001).
Although this may be the formula for solving national, economic and political problems, it does not auger well in the globalization of education (Aucoin 2011). Production and use of human capital should not have one goal (Borghans and Heijke 2005).
Additionally, it should reflect the need to have a safer world (Davies 2005). According to Borghans and Heijke (2005), the growing need for knowledge, labor market uncertainties and complicated ways of acquiring education (Aucoin 2011) requires explicit investigation into production and use of human capital.
This is because there is an economic dimension to it. The two echo earlier studies by Green (2002), Jallabe and Mora (2001).
In my own opinion, the education sector will not be standardized in the future since it has failed in the past. Globalization will bring more options to the education sector without necessarily standardizing it.
The need to have economic and labor market superiority will continue to dampen efforts at making education to be all-round.
Additionally, education will propagate more wars than before especially in the developed nations. In the developing nations, the same may happen but this means that resources will be redirected which may cause an international outcry.
Aucoin, R 2011, ‘Information and Communication Technologies in International Education: A Canadian Policy Analysis’, International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, vol. 6 no. 4, pp 1-11.
Borghans, L & Heijke, H 2005, ‘The Production and Use of Human Capital: Introduction’, Education Economics, Vol. 13 no. 2, pp 133.
Carpenter, D M & Hughes, H 2011, ‘Gubernatorial rhetoric and the purpose of education in the United States’, International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, vol. 6 no. 6.
Davies, L 2005, ‘Schools and War: Urgent Agendas for Comparative and International Education’, Compare, Vol. 35 no. 4, pp 357–371.
Doyle, A 2008, ‘Educational performance or educational inequality: what can we learn from PISA about France and England’? Compare, vol. 38 no. 2, pp 205.
Fuchs, T. & Wößmann, L 2007, ‘What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-examination Using PISA Data’, Empirical Economics, vol. 32, pp 433-464.
Green, A 2002, ‘The Many Faces of Lifelong Learning: Recent Education Policy Trends in Europe’, Education Policy, Vol. 17 no. 6, pp 611-626.
Jallabe, J & Mora, J 2001, ‘Lifelong Learning: International Injunctions and University Practices’, European Journal of Education, vol. 36, pp 361-377.
Lindahl, R A & Cain, P M 2012, ‘A Study of School Size among Alabama’s Public High Schools’, International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership vol. 7 no. 1, pp 1-27.