Possibly the most important element in preserving our planet is education. That is why we start by discussing the content of such a sub-committee within our mission “Planet Preservation”. In accordance with its importance it will take a few weeks to at least sparkle some ideas. The beauty of the topic is, that we could start any of the suggestions right now.
Meaning of education
The influence of education is generally underestimated in political discussions. It has been proven by science (see WHO) that education leads to a higher quality of life, longer life, fewer children. It enables both awareness of environmental protection and to initiate some of the measures needed to preserve the planet in a wider sense. The mere fact of mastering a common language will raise the understanding between people to a new level. Understanding each other is an essential contribution to maintaining peace. Nevertheless – or perhaps precisely because of this – education is currently regarded as something very national. In Germany, responsibility for education is even still held at the level of the federal states. Global education for planetary preservation through a terraistic association will have several facets.
Education is rewarded
Soon every second person on earth will have a smartphone. Even in very poor areas, where there is a shortage of the most necessities, smartphones are available. There are currently 3.3 billion active devices in the world. At least teaching apps for reading, writing, basic math and English should be established in such a way that they are freely available to everyone in the world in their native language. How much effort it is, or whether such a goal should be pursued as an open source project, are already detail that do not need to be discussed here. They should be decided by a knowledgeable and capable manager. One thing is certain: With such learning programs, the illiteracy rate could be reduced and participation in knowledge and politics could be strengthened. One would also reach women and minorities in remote regions of the world or in regions with high discrimination. Ideally, a terraistic society could promote these learning apps or even establish advantages when they are being successfully used. It would be a great result if the apps were available pre-installed on the start page of every smartphone.
Education creates values
Education is not only knowledge. Many detrimental developments could be prevented if young people around the world were also taught deeper values and self-understanding. I missed both elements in my high school education in Germany and I do not see any serious attempt in my daughters’ school career to further the topics. Psychology, ethics, philosophy, and peace studies could be exciting and really rewarding topics. I don’t mean learning historical numbers by heart, but really understanding the effects of war and peace in the course of human history.
Dealing with ethics and philosophy ultimately forms an inner compass, which is becoming increasingly important in a society driven by consumption and media manipulation. Since one’s freedom is increasing in an ever more interconnected world, and since there is a high probability that working life in the next generation will no longer serve as the sole purpose of life, it is becoming more and more important to start exploring the purposes of life early on. Also – and especially in this area – it would be desirable to have at least one global provider of such learning content that is independent of business and politics. National egoisms, the desire to present one’s own history in a positive light and religious convictions at least distort the presentation of the past and ethical content.
If an association striving for neutrality provides such content, this can lead to a healthy debate of the content of national curricula. In the end, education should neither purposeless learning machine nor be geared to support an undesirable labor market. It should anchor values in younger generations that lead to a desirable society in future. We will proceed right here next week.