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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
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
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
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
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
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
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'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
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
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
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'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
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
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
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
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
South China Morning Post, February 20, 2015
 

Frank-Jürgen Richter says educated youth will bolster ageing state.

China is currently emphasising that its national education goals must be met by 2020, one of which is to get 70 per cent of children into kindergarten. As in ancient times, modern China accepts that education is crucial for future success. A key feature is to begin education early, at home and in kindergarten.

The focus is not only on education but also good nutrition and ensuring that parents are aware of the best practices for childhood development. In towns and cities, they are readily addressed, but in rural enclaves, it is more difficult.

A pilot project in two remote regions in Qinghai and in Henan provinces begun in 2009 has been studying nutritional intervention for children aged two and over and better health management for three to six-year-olds. The results are promising: with a better diet and parental guidance, the children's performance has improved. Many developed nations know the benefits of good nutrition during the first 1,000 "golden days" of childhood.

Further, detailed testing of educational progress is needed. India's annual school education survey reaches over 560 districts each year, testing whether some 650,000 children in more than 16,000 villages know, with increasing complexity, letters, words, sentences and a paragraph. There is also an equivalent maths test. The Indian government was appalled by the poor results in 2009 and vowed to do better - which is happening. Such things are also improving in China. Although it begins from a higher baseline than India, there are problems nevertheless: long distances from rural homes to schools, a lack of good facilities at the schools and a shortage of teachers willing to live in the countryside.

Migration from the countryside to towns and cities is happening on a grand scale in China; some 400 million people are forecast to become economic migrants within the next two decades. China has been developing its "go west" strategy to open up the interior, to guard against overwhelming the high-value economic zones on the coast. More recently, it has built many new towns along the new high-speed rail routes in the hope of capturing the economic migrants before they converge on coastal cities.

These cities have well designed facilities - health centres, kindergartens, junior and secondary schools, all with local transport facilities, which are bound to attract teachers. Local markets and good transport links to workplaces will draw in parents and commerce. All these factors will increase local wealth, spending, and local GDP, reducing the pressure on the state to build up coastal economic centres beyond sustainable levels. And an emphasis on early-days nutrition and schooling will ensure a better-educated state, one that is better able to sustain the needs of the state, given its rapidly ageing population.

China is moving from a society that seemed intent only on building its physical assets while forgetting its workers. Now, it is clearer that the government's focus is on wholesome growth. A well-educated population will discuss before rebelling, and with less social unrest, the police will be less inclined to suppression. Good education for all will ensure that new proposals are understood more, and feared less. Through trust, the population will further support government developments.

This may sound like a utopia. Yet, there will be many who want to further their own aims - China needs innovative people to develop. But to do this only for personal glory will cross an ill-defined line. Fast-developing nations have to evaluate guidelines frequently and explain their reasoning to their people. China will be better able to do this in the future, thanks to its social interventions.

 

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


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