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Michael Mohamed ENG4U0 In a rapidly globalizing world, there is a quickly closing divide in terms of the economic development of the Asian and Pacific nations in the world, particularly China and India, as compared to the Western world, specifically the European and North American nations. As a stark contrast to only 20 years ago, what were formerly slums and farms in the People’s Republic of China have become large manufacturing factories; what were formerly empty lands and poor villages in India have rapidly become replaced by service and computing sciences firms all across the nation. In comparison, the West is currently facing a regress in terms of education and economics; in the United States alone the debt to other nations has reached the highest of any other nation in the world. The combination of a highly competitive and effective education system, the economic and educational crises facing North America as well as the overwhelming population and development of China and India are all factors helping these nations to become the most powerful in the world. The extremely focused and resourceful education systems being put in place in China, India and Japan are all factors in helping their economic growth; aside from being able to develop some of the world’s most elite classes of specialists in various fields in privatized education, India and China have both made large investments in order to increase the overall percentage of educated citizens. According to the book Chindia: How China and India are Revolutionizing Global Business, the Sarva Shikva Abhiyan (Universal Education Incentive Program) in India provides a $2.4 billion dollar budget for the benefit of the nation’s education system and also provides students and schools with a meal a day, free textbooks, medical care, and specialized and remedial classes. Although the class sizes can be over 100 students per teacher in some classes, students who do excel can be placed into extremely high level mathematics and computer/information sciences courses; many of these courses lead into some of the most gruelling and prestigious universities in the world. Chindia also has a lot of information on China’s education system: in China the resources for many schools involve brand new Lenovo PCs for most of the students, LCD monitors, basketball courts and track fields along with various laboratory equipment and scientific
studies for the sake of encouraging curiosity and investigative skills in pupils of the programs. As a result the literacy rate for students between the age of 12 and 40 is 96%, many of these students being literate in both English and Chinese; these kinds of results are part of the Chinese government’s efforts to ensure an education for every single student in China. Many of the education systems in East and South Asian schools are centred around the passing of ‘entrance exams’: this is a system whereby a person can enter any school provided they can pass the entrance exam for that school, some schools having much more difficult entrance exams than others; for some of the hardest entrance exams, students as young as elementary and middle school age will spend entire years studying and preparing for their exams in an attempt to compete with their peers. What it results in is one of the most productive and educationally proficient groups of people on the planet; in nations where studying is not even required to graduate from high school more often than not, students work constantly to surpass their peers and ensure entrance into some of the most prestigious schools in not only the nation, but the entire world. Some of these include Indian Institute of Technology, where from 100,000 exam entrants only 2,500 are admitted into the institute and only 2000 graduate; for their expertise in problem solving and gruelling work ethic (most IIT students only sleep 5 hours a night at most, working until 3AM or later) IIT graduates are sought after all over the world in nations like the US, France, Germany, the UK among others. An important point to note is just how much emphasis is placed on English education in China and India; this is important because of how much computer information documentation, business transaction, international services and overall frequency in which English is used. Some facts from the educational video Did You Know? 2.0: by the year 2010, China is estimated to have the most English speaking citizens of any nation in the world; India already has the most English documents printed and produced (along with publications in over 20 other languages) as well as having a 100% rate of graduates from universities and colleges able to speak English fluently. The Guangdong province is one of the richest and also one of the best centres for education in China according to Chindia: Shantou University for example has begun to abandon the old method of simply forcing students to become rote memorizers, using various US universities as models on which to base its curriculum; this is in an effort to produce more creative and inquisitive learners in China. Along with this, there are even more difficult universities that can be entered in the northern regions such as Beijing; in these universities students still spend all their time memorizing facts and data in order to pass their exams, which again produce an extremely diligent group
of students. From these examples, it can be seen that while China and India do have extremely large populations which are difficult places to ensure that all or even most students are educated or graduate, they have been extremely effective in mobilizing students to study vigorously; as a result they have produced some of the greatest experts in various fields in the world. To compare to this, in North America and especially the United States an economic regress is taking place; as a result the quality of education is also diminishing. Even in countries such as Canada, due to the decreasing success rate of students in the nation, courses have been simplified and removed from the curriculum and students as a result are taught less in more time; an example of this might be the removal of Geometric and Discrete Mathematics (which teaches many things about computational related mathematics such as matrices, computational timing, etc.) as well as the recreation of Calculus courses, the reform of courses such as Chemistry and Physics to be more heavily reliant on technologies, etc. According to Wikipedia, since early 2008, it has been predicted that the United States of America is rapidly entering an economic recession; the consequences of this have been predicted that the nation will not be able to support itself by the end of 2010 according to the International Monetary Fund economic forecasts. For what was once the world’s leading superpower, this is devastating. This affects the government’s ability to provide quality education for its children, and also increases the price of university tuition dramatically; for more prestigious universities such as MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale (among many other scientific and political science based universities in America) what this means is that the tuition has skyrocketed to an unaffordable price for most students. When the ability to become educated worsens, the careers that can be pursued become either filled with graduates who are less than stellar, or simply not filled at all due to a lack of graduates available. Since almost all of the conveniences and progresses of human life depend on mathematical and scientific work, this puts the United States in a poor position as a leader of human progress and a developer of its own technologies; instead the US relies heavily on imported goods. When the Clinton Administration ended its term, the national budget was in surplus of over 2 trillion dollars. After the Bush Administration ended, the nation budget was in debt of over several trillion dollars (as of February 12th 2009, it is estimated at 10.76 trillion); even if the Obama Administration is a much better economizing force than the Bush Administration, this is still a gargantuan problem to be solved. This affects other nations in the Western
region as many of them are reliant on the United States for their resources and products; however many nations are coming to realize that the United States is not the best economic partner and have since abandoned them to partner with other nations in more European and Eastern regions. For these reasons, it can be seen that the Western side of the world has a great deal of catching up to do in terms of being able to match the Eastern; if this goal is ever accomplished it will be a matter of many decades. Another one of the most important factors contributing to the rising power of the Asian nations such as India and China would be the overwhelming ability to develop in both information technologies, services, manufacturing and exporting goods; the economies of both nations are heavily reliant on these, since the 1980s this has been a provider of great economic growth. Chindia provides and explanation for this: what were once vast rice fields and farms in China are rapidly being replaced by enormous skyscrapers that house various corporations, or factories that produced exports such as clothing, plastics, silicon wafers, toys, computer hardware, LCD monitors and the like; in producing the aforementioned exports, China is by far the leader in the world. This is because the Chinese economy is currently designed for rapid development; billions of dollars are poured into manufacturing which quickly produce goods, export them, and begin making a net profit. The demands for China’s exportation market to produce are very high; however provided the aforementioned students and graduates coming from the best of their universities, the people are prepared to meet the demands of the modern world. Another important detail to note is just how high the populations of China and India are; according to Wikipedia currently they are estimated at 1.321 billion and 1.148 billion people respectively excluding immigrants of each nation. Worldometers.com states the Earth population is 6.784 billion people, this means that the populations of China and India combined comprise approximately 19.5% and 16.9% of the Earth’s population respectively; a total of 36.4% of Earth’s population is comprised by these two nations alone. Because there are so many people within the nation’s borders, this provides ample room for consumers to purchase domestic product and in turn push the economy and development of the nations further: these two nations are the world’s largest markets for PCs, broadband telecom services, digital TVs, automobiles, and various other goods. In India there is not so heavy an emphasis on producing goods as there is on producing information technologies as well as services; as previously mentioned the technological institutes in India are some of the most challenging in the world and unsurprisingly the graduates of these
schools have become some of the best integrated technology developers in the world. Anyone who has dealt with technology troubleshooting has likely had some of their trouble shooting calls forwarded to India; indeed India has the most call centers of any nation in the world, and given that many of the modern day integrated technologies used today originated from India, it is not surprising that these call centers would be based at home. Some examples of IT firms that have been based or heavily centred around Indian firms would include Infosys, Tata Consulting Services, Wipro, HCL, and Satyam, Texas Instruments, Intel, Microsoft, General Electric among many others; even if these companies were not founded in India they have become centred there simply for the quality of productivity that can be achieved with computer and information science centres based in India. In many cases, the skills of India and China can be seen to be working in tandem when it comes to international exports: while a PC may be exported and purchased in Canada, the silicon wafers and plastics all used to build it could have been manufactured and assembled in China, however much of the firmware, included software and information behind the functionality of the computer itself could have been developed in India. In either case, the greater net financial benefit goes towards India and China as opposed to the store and even company it was sold from in Canada. For these reasons, it can be seen that not only have China and India become powerhouses in terms of their production and technological advances and development, but they have also managed to make other nations around the world heavily reliant on them; this has overall lead to a booming rate of economic development in these sectors of both nations. The conclusion by now should be very clear that the Western world is not the economic, scientific and educational leader that it once was, if anything these standards are decreasing over time. In comparison the development of China and India have been magnificent examples of how to best educate and then economize on the people of a nation, significantly increasing the quality of life for citizens on the whole even if they do live in the more rural areas. With the development of these nations apparently not stopping and the economic regress of the United States predicted to reach a decline not witnessed since the Great Depression, the United States will no longer be considered a superpower and its partners in the Western world will suffer as a result; in comparison China and India will likely gain a very justified superpower status.
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