Friday, August 12, 2016

The Prime Minister is putting the cart before the horse! – Human Capital

So what is this horse I am talking about? It is the basic foundation for Education which he did not even allude to in his speech at the Human Capital Summit, and nothing will come of it unless this most important area is tackled, if we are EVER to achieve the sensible goals the PM has set for himself.

I will elaborate on the detail below, but let me first take issue with some of his basic tenets. The link is to the FT headline by its Editor, of the essence of the PM’s message:
The PM has said that Sri Lanka has three specific strengths, namely Geographic Location, Strong Parliamentary Democracy and Human Resources. The latter two are only in theory, firstly we have a tradition of Parliamentary Democracy, but we have people littering parliament whom I will not even employ as a security guard, which goes to show how much trust I have in them, who have collectively ruined this Country since independence. There is NO challenge at all to this premise, no matter how hard the PM tries to defend his co-parliamentarians and the supremacy of Parliament over all other forms of power.

Then let us go to the matter of Human Resources. It is simply the infant child that is born that is the best on earth. From day one we begin the process of ruining it. We fail to give proper nutrition, unlike in the days of the Kings where they were well nourished. Then we favor the male child and completely make a mental mess of his mind, into believing that he is somehow special, and ruin him in the process. They are at 35 years, still being hand fed by their mothers. This must stop at 10 at worst, possibly at 5, without someone walking behind the child trying to feed him!

The girl child is subjugated to the kitchen scraping the coconuts for breakfast of pol sambol and rice, without being taught the nutrition of Bathala or Kiri Ala or even Manioc for breakfast. NO NO, NOT RICE, especially white polished rice, it is simply poison destining her to a life time of diabetes before she can even talk.

Then comes the most important period of the child’s life, namely pre-school. We leave our children with a neighbor, or a relative, or a pre-school which someone with an extra room has set up. They are at best child minders, where in Japan the kids are taught the 5 S system, which sets them up for life on how to behave and clean up and clear up after them, and be disciplined in everything they do.

Until we invest in pre-school, the Prime Minister is only expressing a wish. I am expressing reality here. This is where the emphasis of State Resource Allocation begins. I have yet to see any words uttered from our educationists on this.


So what I propose is this. If this is not done, all this 13 years of education is for naught. I, by the way agree on 13 years, but that includes the 2 years of pre-school being the most important and by 16 after 11 years of formal school, the child will be in a position to determine where their future lies. Forcing kids to be in school till 18 is a crime if they can get their start-up going in their verandah at 16! Ask any of the world’s entrepreneurs and they will agree. The PM is a Politician.

After that it is work study, where a profession or vocation is the way to go, and those who wish to engage in further study can also do so, but OUT OF CHOICE, not compulsion that the PM proposes in the new Education Act.

I trust the weaklings around the PM (also known as the concrete ring of Neanderthals, frightened of being outed for their incompetence),   who prevent him from hearing the gems of wisdom from the people of the hinterlands, will at least pass this message to him that it is worth training and paying a pre-school teacher Rs100,000 a month, than giving the same to a College Lecturer, as a more beneficial social benefit to society, and will achieve the goals he has set for SL.

Just ask Stiglitz, Soros or Hausman (all of whom have been giving gratuitous advice on what ails SL) and all will unanimously agree with me on this point.

I would also like to bring in the need to teach the children at least to be bi-lingual or better tri-lingual, so we can well and truly maximize on our natural talent for languages that our bright young infants are born with. See link to a BBC article on languages being a catalyst for improving brain power. Our mothers in the Middle East learn to speak Arabic in just three months!

It is an article I would sincerely recommend my readers also take into account if they do not know about it already, and pass on the PM for consideration.

For all the bullshit discussed at the HUMAN CAPITAL SUMMIT, they all amount to a hill of beans UNLESS CONCRETE ACTION ARISING FROM COMMON SENSE SUGGESTIONS ARE IMMEDIATELY IMPLEMENTED. Mr PM only you can push this with all you have got. DO IT!

I have summarized what is wrong with our Human Resource and why they cannot meet the global challenge, I am sure NOT one of the pundits at the summit yesterday or today, would have even made a passing reference to it. 

Little surprise then that I have not wasted my time hearing “MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING” by attending the summit!


Anonymous said...

Its a no brainer to start with the young, and change the whole mindset of the new generation. The old is too far gone, due to lack of a vision, and moribund education system.

Enough talk let get working on it. There is NO ONE who disagrees with this premise, so at least no one will object to training pre-school teachers. So let us get the trainers of the pre-schoolers from here and overseas to get cracking on this task

Anonymous said...

It is simple common sense. Sadly none of the policy makers and politicians have any!

Anonymous said...

Actually the Sri Lankan problem has been created by Sri Lankan mothers, who have spoilt their sons to such an extent they are unable to perform to their potential. So the Country has paid the price of not having confident enough people to go out on their own and start businesses, and take risks.