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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

AMARTYA SEN: Criticises neglect of elementary education

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Staff Reporter / The Hindu /  NEW DELHI, July 5, 2011.

Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal conferred a honorary degree of Doctor of Literature on Nobel laureate Prof. Amartya Sen (second from right) at a special convocation of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration in New Delhi on Monday. The others are (from left) Vice Chancellor, NUEPA, Prof. R. Govinda and Chancellor Dr. K.K. Chakaravorty. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal conferred a honorary degree of Doctor of Literature on Nobel laureate Prof. Amartya Sen (second from right) at a special convocation of the National University of Educational Planning and Administration in New Delhi on Monday. The others are (from left) Vice Chancellor, NUEPA, Prof. R. Govinda and Chancellor Dr. K.K. Chakaravorty. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt - The Hindu.

“India is still paying quite a heavy price for this”
India needs to broaden its base in the spheres of education, healthcare and women's equality to foster economic growth, said Nobel laureate Amartya Sen after receiving a honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from the National University of Educational Planning and Administration here on Monday.
Speaking at the special convocation, Prof. Sen was as vehement in demanding an equitable status for women as he was in seeking reforms in education and basic healthcare.
“India does have many achievements in the success of a relatively small group of privileged people well trained in higher education and specialised expertise. Yet our educational system remains deeply unjust. Among other bad consequences, the low coverage and low quality of school education in India extracts a heavy price in the pattern of our economic development,” he said.
He said though the economy may be doing much better than before in many different ways, India is still paying quite a heavy price for having a far less educated general labour force than countries like China. “India has great difficulty in competing in a whole range of simple products, the making of which requires basic education including elementary gadgets such as clocks and calculators, even computer hardware, in which China excels, and which were among the mainstays of the earlier ‘East Asian Miracle',” he said.
Critical of the neglect that elementary education has been subjected to since early Independence, Prof. Sen said though India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's vision for technical education resulted in a boom that has ensured institutes of excellence like the IITs, his attitude towards primary education is “lamentable.”

True, not only primary education, we have been, grossly, neglecting primary health & child Nutrition, which would, severely, affect the future growth of our Country!

Full Story at,
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2159413.ece

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