Professor Efim Mikhailovich Malitikov,
Chairman of the CIS Interstate Committee
for Knowledge Dissemination and Adult Education,
President of the International Association Znanie
at the Conference on Application of Satellite Technologies in Education
June 16-18, 2004
Dear ladies and gentlemen!
Colleagues and organizers of the conference!
It is an honor for me and my colleagues Professor Menshikov and Professor Shafir, together and on behalf of the British company Satellite Edunet, to begin the process of establishing a World University capable of becoming one of the newest and most important tools of social development at the core of Humanity’s Sustainable Development.
Allow me to welcome you and to begin the opening remarks of our conference.
Globalization has come inexorably into our world.
Suddenly it has impregnated our consciousness and mentality, covered megacities and cities, put provincial centers into dependence.
Its signs manifested themselves in villages and farmsteads, invaded every home, reflected in the destiny of every person.
It has predetermined the lives of subsequent generations and dictates its conditions to governments.
It has come invisibly, like radiation, and is consuming the planet, like fire devouring a forest on a dry, windy day.
Regardless of our will, Globalization either makes us its victims or its riders.
Neither the political will of the superpowers nor the combined might of the world banking system can stop it.
It is objective, logical and unavoidable.
It must be accepted or become its slave, its servant without the right to vote.
I am the supporter of positive perception, welcoming approach and active cooperation with global processes.
I am sure it is necessary to take a collateral, not a barrier position in this process, avoiding a head-on collision.
In a hostile confrontation with globalization, the death of its unintelligent, illiterate opponents will not even be noticed either by it or by the surrounding world. The sacrifice will be as inglorious as the crunching of a frog under the wheels of a tractor.
It is necessary, before the platform runs out, to jump on the platform of the train called Globalization.
Many countries and nations have not fully realized this and are under the illusion that globalization will not touch them, that they can fence themselves off from it, shutting themselves in a comfortable niche with a familiar and mastered volume of wealth in a pose of lazy presence at the feast of life.
But prosperity goes out from under every person and every country, even a rich one, if it stagnates in its conservative prosperity, expending the accumulation of the previous phase of its development.
The danger of such a worldview is analogous to the recklessness of pushing uncontrollably on the accelerator pedal of the latest Mercedes. Without losing comfort at high speed, the driver loses vigilance and can, under unfavorable conditions, fly out to the roadside, leaving behind a pile of mangled metal for the edification of other dabblers of fate.
It is necessary to be prepared for the coming processes, which no single country can cope with alone.
It is necessary to learn how to live under new conditions.
It must be mastered in the afterburner mode.
The best simulator for this is our education. But not the one we used in the last century, but a fundamentally new one, based on new mental attitudes and the latest technologies of introduction and dissemination of knowledge.
Classroom-lesson form of education has exhausted its resources in our information age.
Like Plato’s predecessor system of education with two or three students during a walk in the garden, it has fallen behind, creating a growing digital divide and 880 million completely illiterate people who cannot read or write, as well as a five-billion-year-old civilization behind the necessary modern knowledge.
This illiteracy and the resulting lack of competitiveness has led to more than 2 billion people on the planet living on less than a dollar a day, more than 3 billion — more than half — on two dollars a day. Hundreds of millions live in utter poverty, falling far short of even these numbers, which are hardly compatible with civilized life.
It is impossible to close this digital divide with the current classroom-lesson form of education, and the digital divide will widen.
Betting on the Internet alone also does not justify itself to the extent necessary. First, the Internet is very expensive and its relative mass appeal extends to the densely populated developed regions of the Earth.
In Africa, it is 20 times more expensive. In the mountainous regions, where a quarter of the world’s poorest people live, where there is still no transportation other than donkeys and not even electricity. Here, the classic use of the Internet is not possible for natural, geographical and economic reasons. This also applies to the Far North and the Polar regions. The same is true in the «hot spots» of the planet and deep, sparsely populated villages.
The problems of education and equality of access to learning apply to the tens of millions of people in prison and to the entire elderly population of the planet and a number of other categories of people. They are all a red balance and a heavy burden on the shoulders of the world economy, and with access to education, a positive balance.
Only an education system with the latest means of delivering knowledge to the consumer on the basis of modern satellite communications can meet this challenge.
Until recently, education in Germany was considered one of the most prestigious in the world educational system. Today, according to many objective quality components in the world rankings, Germany is in the bottom third of the progressive scale, despite having the oldest schools and universities with centuries of history and learning experience.
The productivity of higher school, university, college, faculty, department, professor and the common faculty member plays an important role today.
«Knowledge for export!» — is the new theory of success we are putting forward, its social and economic component.
The modern professor needs not a 40-seat auditorium, not a classroom, but a half-million-strong army of listeners. Especially since 15 million of the world’s 60 million teachers are in deficit. The digital divide with this teacher ratio with the planetary ballast of illiteracy will increase even more.
At the same time, knowledge for humanity is not spread evenly over the planet, like butter on bread. Sometimes you can get it only from the careful hands of a unique scientist on another continent and not in a common language of mass consumption.
It is absolutely necessary to change the old formula: «Knowledge — for life!», to the modern request for a new mental attitude: «Knowledge — through life!». It is important to achieve real and not declarative inclusion in the priorities of public policy supranational extrabudgetary superbranch of the planetary world order — Adult Education.
Today, not being enshrined in the constitutions of States and statutes of the ministries of education, this sector — an economic snowdrop in the state economy turns over two and a half times more money than the total budget of the State for education.
It is self-sufficient because it is in demand by the conscious part of the world’s population for career advancement and to meet the material needs of adults and their families.
When the number of illiterate non-competitive people on the Earth exceeds a critical mass, they are a working tool in the drug business and contract killers, fanatical terrorists and «living bombs» can bury not only peace, but also the very Sustainable Development of Mankind.
Planetary values are constantly changing. The export of knowledge and learning is becoming a serious business, and intellectual property is becoming the most expensive and profitable type of property.
Following the world demand, the CIS Interstate Committee on Knowledge Dissemination and Adult Education and the International Association «Knowledge», as the UN General Consultant, have a super modern educational structure — the Modern Humanitarian Academy.
The University has its own space teleport covering more than 400 cities in 14 countries.
2500 professors teach 68 specialties to 165,000 students. It is one of the five largest universities in the world.
However, in cooperation with the Research Institute of Space Systems headed by General of Military and Space Forces, Professor, Doctor of Engineering, Academician of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics Menshikov, following the conversion doctrine of military production, the Interstate Committee of CIS and IA «Znanie» advanced the idea to create together with the English company «SAT EDUNET» a World University with the same name to provide global coverage for mutual exchange and export of knowledge by leading universities of the world.
The process of mental change is the most complex and lengthy process in our human life. But despite people’s tendencies and desire to erect, redraw and gravitate toward boundaries, humanity remains one organism of the planet.
To overcome this mentality will help the young island of the Future — the World University.
The technical aspects of the creation of the World University will be reported by my colleague Professor Menshikov.
Thank you for your attention.