Education: India, China ‘closing in’ on US
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Even as international rankings continue to project the Indian education system in poor light, a US think tank has noted that India and China are fast catching up with the US on education parameters, notching up higher enrolment year after year and focusing with such energy and ambition on education that America could soon lose its global competitive edge.
The American Centre for Progress has in a study titled, 'The Competition that really matters — Comparing US, Chinese and Indian investments in the Next Generation workforce' warned that "both China and India are closing the gap with the US on the proportion of the world's college graduates". It urges the next US President to look at ways to ensure "that all American children have the opportunity to become high-skilled workers prepared to compete in a global economy".
The report points out that while numerous educational challenges stand in the way of developing nations, India and China by harnessing their demographic dividend will soon match the US in the number of skilled workers competing in globally-mobile industries. While China is taking a clear lead, India is not so far behind either, the report suggests running through various Indian educational programmes like the Mid Day Meal, Right to Education and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
"Even if India only applies a modestly more intensive effort to increase educational access, it will produce twice the number of college graduates than the US is able to produce annually...To be sure, life for most children in India remains hard, with the World Bank estimating that 40 per cent of Indian families live on $1.25 a day or less. But their lot is improving as India executes its national education strategy..India's education system faces challenges, but its progress in educational access and attainment has put it on a path to be one of the world's strongest economic powers," predicts the study.
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