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Re: Completely misguided arguments on compulsory education



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Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 12:33:20 PST

Dr Sabhlok,

Sainath's advocacy of compulsory education is only one part of his argument. 
Page 48: 'Our present level of funding in education is absurd. There is 
little chance of doing better without directing at least six per cent of GDP 
towards it. Talking about the south-east Asian 'Tigers' has a lot of 
hypocricy built into it anyway...India is not willing to commit anything 
like the funds those nations did for schooling.' Interestingly, this 
argument is also used by A. Sen in 'India: Economic Development and Social 
Opportunity'. Successfull liberalisation has only worked in countries with 
relativly high levels of educational achivement amongst the general 
population. For example, China's literacy in 1979, when reform started, was 
higher than India's level *today* !


Furthermore, the Tigers 'all went through land reform. They gave their 
people literacy and education... health, shelter and nutrition' (page 331). 
What are your thoughts on this argument?

I agree with you, though. I think Sainath's book is excellent.


>From: "Dr. Sanjeev Sabhlok" <sanjeev@sabhlokcity.com>
>Reply-To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>Subject: Completely misguided arguments on compulsory education
>Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 07:07:27 -0800 (PST)
>
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>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
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>Just wanted to re-iterate that making education compulsory is a most futile
>effort. It was recently argued in a newspaper (I forget which) that in
>Thailand, compulsory education was the cause of the rise in education. The
>reality is that these folks do not know their basic info. Between
>1935-1960, 4 years of education was compulsory in Thailand; from 1978, 6
>years became compulsory. Statistical data on Thailand (which is in my
>dissertation and can be obtained from anywhere) shows that compulsion was
>entirely ineffective in motivating education till economic policies became
>'right' in early 70s. I have argued in a footnote in my dissertation that
>'compulsion' does not translate into actual education. In Thailand, given
>that growth has been rapid, the opportunity set of the children is
>perceived to be increasing, and investment in education of children
>considered worthwhile.Parental choice is crucial at each stage. Parents are
>not morons as most of us like to think villagers are.
>
>Was reading P.Sainath's "Everybody loves a good drought," - superb book.
>Only, Sainath's conclusions from his studies in villages are completely
>unthought and plainly wrong, in most cases. I wish I could type out pages
>45-67: after showing why government has completely failed and parents don't
>send children to school, he argues that education must be made 
>compulsory!!!
>
>
>
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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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