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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Why does South have so many divorcees?

April 9, 2012 3 comments

Divorce, litigation, single status! Are these signs of education, development?

Divorce, more people with single-status, litigation, seem to go hand-in-hand. Is this development, progress?  |  Image by Ahmed Raza Khan; source & courtesy - livemint.com  |  Click for image.

Divorce, more people with single-status, litigation, seem to go hand-in-hand. Is this development, progress? | Image by Ahmed Raza Khan; source & courtesy - livemint.com | Click for image.

Tamil Nadu was home to the highest percentage of widowed/divorced or separated (WDS) individuals in India in 2010 (8.8%) while Delhi had the lowest (4.1%).

Maharashtra figured in both the top five lists of highest percentage of WDS overall and females. The percentage of WDS females was almost three times that of men (2.9% against 10%).

Altogether, 7% of the population aged 10 and above were either widowed, divorced or separated in 2010 in India, according to the Registrar General of India’s Sample Registration System 2010 data finalized and submitted to the Union health ministry on Saturday.

Some big states like Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka recorded WDS population as high as 8.2%, followed by Odisha (7.2), Himachal Pradesh (7.1%) and Maharashtra (7%).

UP’s WDS men count stood at 3.7%, followed by Punjab (3.4), Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh (3.3). As far as women WDS were concerned, TN again topped the list with 14.5% of its population above the age of 10 belonging to this category, followed by Karnataka (14.2), Kerala (14), Andhra Pradesh (13.6) and Maharashtra (11.7).

In West Bengal, the number of WDS women was almost six times higher than their male counterparts, according to the data. (via Tamil Nadu has highest percentage of widowed/divorcees in India – Times Of India).

'Progress', 'modern' 'development' seem to be having such narrow meanings. | cartoonist: Michael Leunig. Click for image.

'Progress', 'modern' 'development' seem to be having such narrow meanings. | cartoonist: Michael Leunig. Click for image.

Reality vs Perception

In the Rest of India, Southern states are perceived to be more traditional, conservative – and educated.

In fact Odisha and Maharashtra, the two states that neighbour South India, also have a higher WDS percentage. Himachal Pradesh is more developed and has more WDS people. Gujarat, Delhi and Odisha are the exceptions. Odisha is not ‘developed’ but has a high WDS percentage. Gujarat, Delhi are more ‘developed’ – but not in the high WDS list.

Is this high rate of WDS, because South is more ‘educated’ and ‘developed’?

More modern?


Pearls of Wisdom: US Economist On Indian Education

October 8, 2011 27 comments

The silliest India commentary comes from Indians in the West. Usually. Exceptions apart.

Indian education system has been a matter of interest for the last 10 years at least. (Cartoon by Stuart Carlson, 2005).

Indian education system has been a matter of interest for the last 10 years at least. (Cartoon by Stuart Carlson, 2005).

The failure of the Indian education system must count as the Indian government’s greatest failure. Over 90 per cent of students drop out of school by the 12th grade; only 6 per cent go on to tertiary education, to cite just one dismal statistic. (via Swiping without reading – Indian Express).

Amusing

Cut your nose, to spite your face.

A product of Indian education system, at least partially, Atanu Dey lacks the grace to admit his debt. Even if he lacks the grace, he must be honest to admit his ignorance and /or expertise. Atanu Dey, by implication, is implying that other State education systems are better.

For instance, that of the USA.

Which is simply not a fact. At least from 1983, during the time President Reagan, the state of the US education system has been a matter of great concern. And if he not implying that, he must state how things are equally bad in the rest of the world.

Why just pick on India.

This may not quite be the State of US Education - but only an anecdote.

This may not quite be the State of US Education - but only an anecdote.

Numbers talk

Another angle.

Remember the US is dealing with around 50 million children in the US school system.

And India?

Dealing with 500 million of chidren, is the task that the Indian education system has to handle.

US is the largest economy  of the world. India is 10% of the US economy (in nominal terms). Little more actually.

So, we are talking of a 1000% bigger task with 10% of the GDP. Roughly. Exact numbers will be somewhat different.

Size matters – in case Atanu Dey forgets.

Interestingly, there are some 500 Indian teacher’s in Japan, teaching children, using methods that the Japanese want to learn.

From Indian teachers.

What Atanu Dey does not know or forgets

The issues with Indian education are really the use of English language in higher education. English language closes doors to higher education, for all native language users – which is roughly 90% of India.

The other related question is how long will the dominance of English language last? What after that. Now, these are questions that Atanu Dey should ask and answer.

Being an economist?

vUS education is 'blinkered' seems to be the popular opinion. (Cartoonist - David Horsey; 2008 cartoon). Click for larger image.

US education is 'blinkered' seems to be the popular opinion. (Cartoonist - David Horsey; 2008 cartoon). Click for larger image.

I am not forgetting

The real issue is the delivery model for education that the world must adopt.

The answer, my friend (figure of speech!) is what Shri (Sir) Philip Hartog, Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University (then Dacca) learnt from Gandhiji.

Something that research by Dharampal confirmed – and of late, a British researcher discovered again.

Indian private sector education model is the best.

‘Strong’ cultures go weak in their knees

August 19, 2010 2 comments
Click for larger image.

Click for larger image.

Lingua Franca

Soon after the French Revolution (1789-1799), the new republic of France decided that it needed to stamp out all the local languages – and have One language – lingua franca. At the time of the French Revolution in France,

regional languages such as Provençal, Breton, and Basque were still strong competitors against standard French, the French of the Ile de France. As late as 1789, when the Revolution began, half the population of the south of France, which spoke Provençal, did not understand French. A century earlier the playwright Racine said that he had had to resort to Spanish and Italian to make himself understood in the southern French town of Uzès. After the Revolution nationhood itself became aligned with language.

Adds another writer

at the time of the French Revolution, only 10-12 % of France spoke French. Over the next 100 years, public schools and conscription armies turned “peasants into Frenchmen”. France simply did not allow diversities to flourish. Everyone came to speak French.

Look Again (While the British were busy in India, America's Founding Father's stole America from Britain - and the Native Americans.).

Look Again (While the British were busy in India, America's Founding Father's stole America from Britain - and the Native Americans.).

In the land of the Free

Americans were not allowed to learn or teach non-English languages for the best part of 200 years. All other language groups had to become American by giving up their own languages – and adopt the language of the land of the free.

By 1923, thirty-four states had laws that declared English the language of school instruction.  Since then, most states have enacted laws that require the use of English in specific situations, such as in testing for occupational licenses.

During the 1980s, resurgent xenophobia, directed this time toward Latino/a and Asian immigrants, revived interest in and support for comprehensive English language laws.  Organizations, such as U.S. English, formed to urge states and Congress to enact Official English and English-Only laws that encompass all aspects of government. (from Impact of English Language Movement on Consumer Protection Regulation By Steven W.  Bender Excerpted from Consumer Protection for Latinos: Overcoming Language Fraud and English-Only in the Marketplace, 45 American. University Law Review – 1027-348, 1047-1054 (1996).)

Various US state governments outlawed all languages – except English. It was only in 1923, was this was finally set aside after the matter reached the US Supreme Court (read Meyer vs Nebraska). The USA gathered some courage to start timidly with more than English only after seeing India’s success with 15 languages.

Why are these countries so ‘protective’ about their language? Why do they then want to ‘spread’ their language (English or French) to others?

Coming to India

In India, from a Western stand-point

Contrary to public perception (in the West), India gets along pretty well with a host of different languages. The Indian constitution officially recognizes nineteen languages, English among them.

Why is it that India preserves its unity with not just two languages to contend with, as Belgium, Canada, and Sri Lanka have, but nineteen? The answer is that India, like Switzerland, has a strong national identity.

As for India, what Vincent Smith, in the Oxford History of India, calls its “deep underlying fundamental unity” resides in institutions and beliefs such as caste, cow worship, sacred places, and much more. Consider dharma, karma, and maya, the three root convictions of Hinduism; India’s historical epics; Gandhi; ahimsa (nonviolence); vegetarianism; a distinctive cuisine and way of eating; marriage customs; a shared past; and what the Indologist Ainslie Embree calls “Brahmanical ideology.” In other words, “We are Indian; we are different.” (via Should English Be the Law? underlined text supplied for clarity).

How can we ever credit this poor, vernacular, dhoti-wearing man with such 'liberalism'? (Cartoon character - RK Laxman's Common Man).

How can we ever credit this poor, vernacular, dhoti-wearing man with such 'liberalism'? (Cartoon character - RK Laxman's Common Man).

Credit Gandhi or Nehru

Robert D.King (quoted above) after a fair amount of research makes a few missteps. He writes how in India

Hindi absolutists wanted to force Hindi on the entire country, which would have split India between north and south and opened up other fracture lines as well. For as long as possible Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first Prime Minister, resisted nationalist demands to redraw the capricious state boundaries of British India according to language.

How long would Nehru have lasted if really tried imposing Hindi? In this Hindi-imposition charade, some read a ruse by Nehru to actually impose English on the Indian population. His ‘tryst with destiny speech gives the game away completely – as his many other statements on English.

Similarly, Ashutosh Varshney (quoted above) makes a fine distinction between Indian‘mosaic’ and  the Western ‘melting pot’ models. He goes then and he misses the beat, completely, by crediting Gandhiji for this Indic construct!

He says, “Under Gandhi, India consciously embraced diversities” is he implying that before Gandhiji, India was a mono-bloc society. Was it under the thrall of ‘One’? Would Gandhiji have become a Mahatma in India, if tried the ‘melting pot’ strategy?

I think not!

Gandhiji would have been rejected, rubbished and trashed before he could have said M – of mosaic, melting pot or Mahatma. The only people who cannot be credited are the nearly 120 crore Indians who get by using each others languages! What role did they play in this?

Strange logic, this!

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