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Submitted by Rachel Kasumba on
I applaud Mr. Kabil Sibal and others like him who are advocating and promoting universal education for all and increased investment and enrollment in higher education, in many other places in the world. These commendable steps and actions are meant to transform countries into knowledge-based societies thereby fostering creativity, self-reliance, research, and so forth. However, as Ulrich points out, focusing on inputs alone will not lead to quality education. We therefore need to look beyond inputs (more classes/schools, students, etc) and critically analyze all the factors that would ensure that we achieve the desired output (quality education for all leading to innovation, job creation, improved goods and services, and the like). Wherever these education opportunities for all are being implemented, the governments are doing a great job of ensuring that student enrollment goes up, more schools are built and with the introduction in India of other facilities like the affordable tablet computer, to complement other forms of teaching, the future looks bright. There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that the students get quality education and this challenging task can not be left to the government alone. Teachers have to be well trained, compensated, and supervised. Parents need to be educated too on the importance of ensuring that their children go to school on time, be involved in their homework (in cases where they can), - they have to play a more active role in their education beyond just allowing them to attend school. There is a great need for quality books - updated/current, relevant to the local environment but also competitive in their global outlook. Other facilities include research and technology as already pointed out. Others necessities include proper sanitation and sports facilities, lunch programs, etc Finally, supervision, assessments, and evaluation at all levels is very crucial for the success of any program. Otherwise, you end up with graduates who went through the systems but are unprepared to handle the simple tasks that the work force and business world demand.