Back to Bharat

June 27, 2009

Will I beg for food? Bhavati Bhikshaam dehi…

Filed under: NGO, social change — neosurya @ 20:56

Excerpt from a blog with a very pragmatic look at several issues, including education for all:

The problem is that people in India don’t realize the economic costs of teaching everyone, we were brainwashed into thinking that if we study only then we will be able to make a future, so we presume if everyone studies then it will make their future. Unfortunately it’s not true. Just studying does not secure your future. You have to be really good. For that bottom 1/3rd, its better that nobody waste their money on them, and let them do blue collar jobs.

I had been trying to articulate for several months that education for all is not a good thing, it is not sustainable, and it does not make sense. The author, Shanu Athiparambath Gargi Dixit presents a host of other discussions, some of which have quite deep repercussions.

A related question I request my reader to ask him/herself is (I assume all readers of this blog will at the least have high school education) – Will I consider working for a very low salary, or Will I agree to beg for sustenance? At one point of time our culture ruled that student should subsist by begging from house to house. Work of any stature was not considered beneath education. But now, we have evolved.

I will take the example of Taarein Zameen Par, the movie which has opened the eyes of many parents towards the proper rearing of children. But even in this movie, the boy Ishaan had to become a “winner”.

The movie did a good job. The masala has to be there for it to get the message across, and it did get a good message across. But fact remains that kids have to “win” to prove themselves. The path is lost amidst the goal.

Advertisements

3 Comments »

  1. The author, Shanu Athiparambath gets into a host of other discussions, some of which have quite deep repercussions.

    Author is not Shanu, Author is me, it is MY WORK>
    me, Gargi Dixit, Unpretentious Diva, owner and administrator of Reason For Liberty.

    Shanu is one of our Co-author and friend.

    Comment by Gargi Dixit — June 28, 2009 @ 00:15

    • Sorry about the confusion with Shanu. I have updated the entry.

      For your other comment:
      @ Ask the question yourself, what would you rather prefer? 100 good paying elite jobs(like IT Engineer) for 1000 graduates, or 800 elite+non-elite jobs(like IT Engineer, fireman, banker, shop keeper, waiter, gas station manager) for 1000 young kids(not all of them are graduates).

      I do not question the rationale that it is good to have maybe 100 elite + 700 non-elite jobs rather than having everyone “train” for just the 100 elite jobs. My thoughts about education for are clear in my post. However, there are a few other factors to be considered:

      1. The US has had loose credit available for its citizen and businesses. Is the standard of living of the UPS guy equivalent to yours because of socialist policies/protection of the dollar or is it because of true market reality? What if the rate of interest on his house was 10% instead of say 3.5-5%? The access to credit for everyone in the US economy and the resultant repercussions are clear these days. During my early days as a grad student in the US, my room-mates described the greatness of that economy; the system allowed even a lowly student living on a measly pay to own a cell phone and possibly even buy a second-hand car. My argument then was that such flow of money is unsustainable; The housing bust is an example of how unsustainable such credit is.

      2. The socio-economic footprint of US consumption is very large, unsustainable to say the least and damaging at worst. This footprint is evident when you look at the huge imbalance in living standards in the production center of USA, read China. The casual laborer or UPS truck driver in China is much worse off than a US citizen living on social welfare. It is likely that for every individual living on social welfare in a certain economy, a group of people in a different economy are working their butts off. Compare the carbon footprint of an average person in the US with that of a similar one in China.

      3. Is the market really free of laissez-faire after Government intervention in education? Despite all Govt. measures, it is still likely that the poor mans kid would get sub-standard education in comparison the rich guy. Govt. intervention is stunted in several domains.

      4. Govt. intervention is also designed to remove social/political barriers like race, gender, caste, and religious bias. Several examples can be given to demonstrate the economic benefits of such interventions. However, they are yet to remove the cause associated with such bias. More often than not, the bias remains uncured and is hidden behind a veil. For example, what are the social connotations of introducing yourself as an UPS driver versus a software engineer? The current mechanism of obtaining education and subsequent jobs is such that it automatically considers certain jobs as “beneath education”.

      Comment by neosurya — June 28, 2009 @ 08:44

  2. The problem with ‘education for all’ is that its the brainwashing done to us kids by our parents who grew up in pre-liberalized India.

    Back then it did make sense to make sure everybody has equal chance at education because the govt job was the most elite life you can ever have.

    But now, we still repeat the same rhetorics. We look at the kids from slums(like from slumdog millionaire) and we think ‘only if those kids were somehow educated’. We demonize the poor parents who do not send their kids to the school.

    The problem is that by spending on education you are destroying the capital. This destruction of capital results in destruction of jobs. Is it really worth educating everyone to finally have jobs only for 10% of the graduates?

    Ask the question yourself, what would you rather prefer? 100 good paying elite jobs(like IT Engineer) for 1000 graduates, or 800 elite+non-elite jobs(like IT Engineer, fireman, banker, shop keeper, waiter, gas station manager) for 1000 young kids(not all of them are graduates).

    Its true that the chances of a rich man’s intelligent son becoming an IT Project manager in Bangalore are higher than chances of a poor man’s equally intelligent son. But by ‘education-for-all’ you are ensuring only one of the two gets the IT job, but by going for laissez-faire you are ensuring both get some or the other equally good jobs.

    The poor kid could become manager of the chain of cafes in a small city. If nothing, he could simply be a mailman in a private company live in the house right next to the IT manager(like it happens in US, my neighbor works in UPS, as a delivery man, drives truck all day).

    Comment by Renegade Division — June 28, 2009 @ 02:55


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: