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Education for all

Five bloggers, five countries, one dialogue

Education in Kenya needs to go international

Many cultures and colors: one goal

Traveling over long distances can be exhausting, but sometimes it can be also rewarding depending on the comfort of the flight and the route. As I returned home from the Global Media Forum, I had over four hours to wait for my flight from Germany to Nairobi. I took advantage of those long hours to read some newspapers.

Even though I was not looking for articles on education, all the newspapers I read touched on this topic, reminding me that it is an issue that affects all areas of our life. Articles in a German publication and in a publication from the Gulf region that I read took up the same questions of culture and education.

The German publication stressed the importance of German institutions becoming more international so that Germany can produce excellent students and scientists able to compete on a global platform. My father would agree. He encouraged us to attend schools beyond our home area. His thought was that by living in these cultures, we would learn some soft skills beyond the subjects taught in class, such as intercultural communication and tolerance of people different from us. He, therefore, was happy to let me study in Germany with others from more than 10 other cultures. I described this before as a ‘global classroom.’ The article proposed that more universities in Germany should have a strategy to internationalize themselves. I think Germany has already started this, taking an example of the master’s program I did, which was not only composed of international students and teachers but was also taught partly in English and in German.

Globalization at our finger tips

The other article from a publication in Dubai posed the question: Who are internationally educated children? The publication asserted that children benefit from stepping outside of their own culture. Globalization and its effects on education and on life in general demand from us that we extend our knowledge beyond our horizons. The so-called ‘international students/learners’ are more tolerant of different cultures, races, religions, opinions, and, as such, may be less prejudiced. Even later when they start working, they are more marketable on the job market, as multi-cultural skills are one of the strengths that international companies look for.

In Kenya, there are just a few international students, either on exchange or learning English from China and Turkey. I think the low number is mostly the result of doubt about the quality of education here. Kenya also needs a strategy to internationalize its education system – especially at the universities – to make it attractive for international students and professors.


July 2, 2012 | 1:55 pm