Can education be complimentary to the preservation of tradition in the developing world? Can these two terms be synonymous with each other, or does progress necessitate the erosion of cultural values and a complete commitment towards integrating with the wider world? Can we teach for the future, while staying firmly rooted in the past? There has been a lot of debate on this subject.
One of the key voices has been Wade Davis, Explorer-In-Residence at National Geographic, who has dedicated his life to traveling and researching the ethnosphere of humanity. He remarks, "Schooling has not changed the people for the better. This is the pain in my heart. Those educated want nothing to do with their animals. They just want to leave. Education should not be a reason to go away. It's an obligation to come back."
Education should be a reason to come back, not a reason to leave. But there must be something to come back for. Preparation, skill sets, advancement, must be met with proper challenges for the young individuals to dedicate themselves to. If not, the brain drain and cultural erosion in the developing world. will continue.
Educational programs must synthesize the new and the old; they must teach to respect, preserve, and learn from the past, while embracing the future. Knowledge of both is critical to a balanced growth of the most vulnerable citizens of the global arena.