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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
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Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
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Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
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Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
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Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
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An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
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Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
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Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
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News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
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Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
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Facebook revolution but Indian style
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China´s low sales volume...
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Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
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Of procrastination...
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Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
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Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Educating with a goal
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Khaleej Times, May 21, 2012
 

It has become popular these days to lament on the global malaise of our young. "They are poorly educated" so say business people, who state they are illiterate and are innumerate.

They further exclaim they cannot be primary educators (that´s the job of schools...) but they are willing to offer niche programmes to teach new employees details of their new business. In other words, they would offer on-the-job training. To me this is fair - the state being responsible for the years of formative education and firms would add very specific skills. But it is not working out this way in these times of global recession and austerity programmes. Of course, in countries enduring austerity there are few firms hiring anyone but it is their young who seem disproportionately disenfranchised.

Not too long ago, in 2000, the newly elected UK Labour prime minister Tony Blair proclaimed his government´s intent - "Education, Education, Education!" At about the same time in the United States (in 2001) George Bush announced the "No child left behind Act". There are too many NEETs (Not in employment, full-time education or training) across the globe: USA, Russia, all of Europe, Japan; and the Arab states have worried for a while about the increasing numbers their youth that are not appropriately educated for the modern world.

Education has always been the province of the elite. In China one had to study the Confucian Analects in order to pass the Imperial examinations to work closer to the Emperor (... so no change there it seems!) Roger Ascham, a teacher of Queen Elizabeth I, complained around about 1550 that teachers only received about 200 shillings a year, whereas a good groom caring for the master´s horses could get 200 crowns per year (just like our well-paid football stars: nothing changes!)

And echoing this dreadful situation in modern times it is found that many teachers in the back-woods of poor countries do not possess relevant nor adequate knowledge to educate their pupils - and in some of these States the children are being given cheap laptops to enhance their education. How will they be taught I wonder?

I have opined elsewhere that teaching curricular must change. Once schooling was for the elite and the students were instructed to a `copy this, learn it and recite it back to me´... then after it was "OK - you have passed". Those were simple examinations by the professors, which ensured all teachers remained in the elite cadre. But that regime, which continuing even today, fits no one for the modern world. I have argued that it would be better to give all children the basics of reading writing and arithmetic and in addition taught to be able to critically assess new situations, new data.

Under this revised teaching regime the young people will be able to review any new situation, and having analysed will be able to synthesise and communicate their views. This new curricular is inadequately promoted globally at present. There are still too many regimes that demand the submission of their pupils to accept false learning that will promote bias and distrust when confronted by others bearing different learning.

The Economist on April 21st, 2012 presented their views of a Third Industrial Revolution. The first herded cottage workers into the 18th century factories, the second was the age of mass production in the 20th century - but now they proclaim that manufacturing is `going digital´. In this new age many of our goods will be printed, layer by layer, using novel materials (not ink) layering these in thin slices creating objects perfectly (no rough edges, no hollowing out required - only perhaps some heat treatment).

The demand will be for a software engineers able to be very creative: there will be more production in garages by innovators; and many repairs to our possessions might be done remotely as the printer creates the correct spare part. It is a practical utopia that forgets we need a supply of `ink´ - so extractive industries will still need their workers, we will still require our electricity and fuel supplies to power our needs and these will require building and maintaining by other than printers. But the revolution is here, and we will need better-educated youths - those who can be re-employed easily as they have the knowledge to use `critical thinking´ and to communicate well.

Sir Fazel Hasan Abed, Chairperson of BRAC in Dhaka has said "... going to school in a poor country is neither enjoyable nor rewarding and that must change. Emphasis must be put on ... critical thinking... so innovation and entrepreneurship can be an asset used to lift themselves out of poverty". I too say this must clearly be a global aim in this forthcoming digital world.

 

Frank-Jürgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global business community


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