A more global world view essential for young Americans
Washington — Landrum Bolling, while chairman of the Council on Foundations, took a long, hard look at US foreign aid in the private sector.
At the same time he provided some insights regarding the US school system and where local schools fall down in their need to provide all Americans with a more global and less provincial view of the world.
He states in his book ''Private Foreign Aid'' that ''schools, colleges, and universities are and will remain the primary instruments for educating the general population in virtually all fields of knowledge.''
''Yet,'' he argues, ''by every relevant study in recent years, including one published in 1980 by the Presidential Commission on Foreign Languages and International Studies, American young people are finishing their formal education poorly informed about the history, geography, and cultures of foreign lands.''
He then asserts that the vast majority of Americans ''utterly lack any competence in any language other than their own, and most of them are woefully unprepared to make any informed judgment about America's overseas interests and obligations.''
He further alleges that Americans are particularly ignorant about the problems of the developing world and calls on private philanthropists to help remove that ignorance. Then Dr. Bolling concludes: ''The United States is severely handicapped by an educational system that is grossly inadequate in its preparation of young people to understand, communicate with, and work effectively alongside other peoples around the world.''