Friday, 13 May 2011

Education as Soft Weapon to reshape other countries

Mark Ashwill just sent me his article commenting on a leaked document from US embassy in Vietnam. The memo (http://www.viet-studies.info/us_vn_education_memo.htm  clearly indicates that American educational exchange programs can influence Vietnamese students, make them return to Vietnam as friends of the US government (read. brain-washed) and thus help to shape the future of Vietnam the way the US wants (quote: like South Korea and not China).  


Yes, it is true that Education has always been a tool to shape the cultural behavioural as well as cognitive thinking, but NOT the cultural values of its people. The same as globalization with the death knell of disappearing national cultures now being considered as false alarm, using education as weapon to impose certain ideologies is only possible when these ideologies are resonant with the values held dear in that society. 


Further,please dont forget that many of the Chinese oversea students are returning to China with firm belief that China needs a DIFFERENT kind of democracy that they have seen abroad. In a similar mode, many of my African students in Europe told me that they have figured out that at this moment, democracy the American way only destroys Africa. 

Thanks Mark for an interesting read. For those who want to know another story of how some other American are using education in Pakistan as a way to fight extremist Madrassa, please read: "three cups of tea".


Link to Mark's article:
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/04/12/ashwill_international_higher_education_used_for_political_purposes