The world is more interconnected than ever before; this is a fact. Each of us is as “international” as possible, with access to the rest of the world at our fingertips. It never ceases to amaze me how simple it has become to communicate with someone on the other side of the globe. You can hear the voices of loved ones who are located thousands of miles away with just a click and no wires.
Who contemplates how we came to be on a daily basis? Who could comprehend the miraculous workings of the human body? If we took the time to contemplate the incredible ways in which our minds are constructed or our eyes function, there would not be enough time in the world for the extraordinary nature of humans. However, we have become accustomed to it, and most importantly, we have taken for granted the incredible creation that we are.
Regarding technology, I believe the same holds true. As vital as oxygen is to our survival, mobile technology has become such an integral part of our lives. Similar to how we take oxygen for granted, I believe we have taken for granted the incredible access to the world that technology provides.
Yes, we have all become international, but we still value the term “international” extremely highly. There’s something about this word that we adore. When the word is attached to it, people are attracted to it and become interested in it. But what exactly does it mean to say that an institution is “international”? I am referring in particular to local businesses and other institutions, such as churches, that attach the term ‘international’ to their institutions’ names.
There are international banks, churches, and schools. I’m curious: doesn’t each bank in this country facilitate international transactions? Are there banks that only handle local transactions? There are none. Nevertheless, some of them have ‘international’ attached to their names. Is it similar to branding to attract customers? I am uncertain as to who would be enticed by that, given that we are aware that the services offered by banks in this country are essentially identical.
What about international schools? People are easily enticed by the term ‘international’ in a school’s name, particularly in Addis Ababa, where it is prevalent. I doubt that many people are familiar with the school’s curriculum, facilities, teacher nationalities, and student population. However, people believe that if the school’s name includes the word “international,” it must be a sign that it is extremely prestigious, and parents are willing to pay exorbitant fees to enroll their children.
Many private schools are reportedly contemplating switching from a “local” curriculum to an “international” curriculum because they do not wish to continue with the “local” curriculum. Because of this, some are doubling their school fee payments, recognizing that parents will pay more.
However, what makes these institutions truly international? Some of these schools even lack outdoor athletic fields. Numerous of them lack even football fields. And the worst part is that they charge parents for school fees in US dollars, which I always wonder how parents can afford given the value of the US dollar. In my opinion, the term “international” is overvalued and misapplied, and it demands a price and attention that it does not merit!