Right for free and compulsory access to minimum food!
How the American experiences can help us?
America, the drop-out economy!
Where 3 out of 10 American students drop out of high schools as recently as 2006
Less than a third of students finish college!
These and many other such startling statistics has been published in the American magazine, Time, sold all across India.
Let us hope our ministers and education officials have read such statistics.
There are much more for us by way of policy implications.
We now have a Right to Free and Compulsory Elementary Education, right?
Then, we also have a new Right for Food Security, right?
What are the implications?
Do we, as citizens or leaders, really believe in such lofty ideals? Or, we just want to play the populist aam aadmi politics?
Anyway, we can’t lie beyond a point. Very soon statistics will come out and that would be put out in the open domian, with not by our cowardly press and news channels but by daring bloggers whose tribe is growing everyday!
How long we can fool the people?
We run governments, more for power and display of our political illusions, more for rhotoric, rather than for truth.
Truth in politics is the first causality and more and more we resort to jargon that hypes reality.
We talk of inclusive growth, right?
Who is or are the author/s of this rhetoric?
As they say the devil lies in the details.
Between the four years since 2004-05, we promised to raise the allocation for education, health, 6 per cent for education in the GDP, 3 per cent of GDP for health. What is our record?
Anybody writes or says about this? Not, not at all.
Education, health and family welfare are the three critical sectors and yet the three sectors have got only 4.3 per cent in all! Family welfare including water and sanitation too are included in the allocation!
So too much of our statistical jugglery, be it BPL statistics or poverty or other such critical concepts.
In fact, we have to learn from the USA certain lessons.
There must be universal healthcare reform, as Barack Obama has done. He has done what is almost impossible there. Here we just talk and keep talking.
Now, to get back to the American education system.
There they don’t talk of colleges for all, as we do here for schools for all.
There are other broader trends captured by the American magazine, it calls 10 ideas for the decade. It is the way Americans think and also how Americans look at their education and social trends.
In the USA also, there is this middle class mindset. Go to school, finish school, then college and then jobs and then settle down.
So, the dropout reality makes Americans talk of doubling and trebling the number of college graduates. So, Mr.Sam Pitroda, who headed the Knowledge Commission, has proposed opening, all at a time perhaps, of some 1,500 universities!
Everyone applauded. Even our Prime Minister proposed world class universities and went ahead, at the prompting of the DMK, the notorious political ally, more out of fear than out of any conviction whatever, the PM went to a remote village near the DMK chief’s own birth place and opened a “world class “university.
How do we square our conscience with this sort of self-deception?
So, one wonders will this way will be the way forward in many other priorities, be it more schools, that is what the new right to free and compulsory education, that must enroll almost as many 9 million children who are out of school as on date?
In India, the media has lately become more and more corrupt, from paid news to being on the safe side of the government so that it continues to make a free press more and more a commercialised press, more for profits than for performing its traditional role of disseminating news and information.
Now, another trend pointed out by the American magazine is that more and more youngsters, be they college dropouts or finishers, they would stay out of office and stay home and to their work on computers. That is broadband revolution.
More virtual learning possibilities are opening up, with mobile, broadband and computers, laptops etc.
So, the daily commuting to office and back home lifestyle would disappear progressively.
So too, doing jobs. Now, the BPO revolution is on. It is a 10 year old industry, the BPO and it is 10 billion new industries, almost an Indian invention and an Indian innovation, you see!
What we might imagine an irrational trend, not to go to school and learn might become a perfectly rational way to live and learn.
Now, experts see the difficulties to take education for all, under the new right to education as well as the possibilities of doing so through the new IT tools. This subject is vast and needs a longer article exclusively.
There is another trend noted in the USA. College education, in the USA, why even in the UK and more so in India too, is becoming very expensive. So, more demand for virtual learning systems. More than one-third of American “workers” under 35 live with their parents. This is unthinkable sometime ago there.
One trend is that these below 35 workers would root themselves in their neighbourhood, and they may use social media and create new relationships and sustain themselves as” they craft alternatives to the rat race.
All these trends are already visible even in the Indian environment, mostly in urban centres, in cities like Bangalore, Pune or Noida and such IT nerve centres.
Image Source : telegraph.co.uk