Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Choices in education

Manish Sabharwal says:

  • “………..the risk of sounding like an old crank confusing nostalgia with amnesia,
  • ……horrifying as these truths sound, educational institutions are not like Athena in Greek mythology who sprung fully formed from the head of Zeus—they need time and competition to mature.
  • The difficult choices of quantity, deregulation and fee freedom required of the education regulator are bound to horrify parents and policymakers but our situation is not very different from Winston Churchill in the Second World War who said: “I know the difference between right and wrong and I can tell good from bad. I also know the more difficult decisions come when we have to choose between good and better. But the toughest calls of all are between bad and worse”. Years of myopia and corruption in higher education force us to make the bad choice of quantity over quality because a worse choice would be to waste our demographic dividend. Effective and inclusive higher education will be the difference between a demographic dividend and a demographic disaster. It will also be the difference between busy children and restless or jobless youth. Most importantly, it could be the difference between peace with prosperity and crime with civil unrest.

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