Skip to main content

What's the problem in teaching Sanskrit & Yoga in schools?

Absolutely nothing.

In fact you can teach fly fishing and tap dancing for all I care. You see, that's not the problem. The real problems are, one, who decides what kids in schools learn, and two, what should they be learning?

You can go on and on with the guru-shishya story all you want, but education is and will always be a service provided. Someone provides it, someone else receives it. In a free market the provider of a service is allowed to decide the kind, content, and price of the service he offers. Buyers can then decide if they like what's on offer, and pay for it. Meaning, education service providers are free to decide what they want to teach in their classrooms, and buyers (parents) and consumers (children) are free to decide if they want the learning that's on offer, or not. It isn't the place of government to decide what's taught or what's learnt.

So now the second question, because there are enough socialists out there who will say this will be the beginning to commercialization of education. Of course and guess what, that's the best that can happen to the business of education. In a free market, it isn't you, me, or government that decides what sells, and what price. Its consumers, and you know why that's good? Anyone in the commercialized business of education will know he needs to cater to what consumers want, else he will be kicked out of the marketplace, either by competitors or consumers. Which means he will do his best to figure out what's the best education he can provide and at the most competitive rate. You see, if he ups prices, he opens a window for another service provider to come in and give better education at a lower price.

Now what will a smart education provider put as part of curriculum? Note, learning in the end is about acquiring competencies that can be sold at a price. Meaning, its about taking the skill-sets you have acquired in the classroom (over a period of time) into the market place, and looking for buyers who are willing to pay the highest price. Buyers of your skill-sets will be ready to pay only if they believe those skills can translate into value creation for another buyer who buys from the firm (you have been hired into). In simple terms this means you get a job at a fat salary if the company hiring you thinks you can create value, that will paid for by the firm's buyers.

That's why I say the markets are the best deciders on what's taught. Not government, not regulators.

I hope someday we are smart enough to figure that out so we can leave the business of education to the best in a competitive marketplace. That's how we all can benefit.

P.S. - For all those socialist-communists in India who think this means the poor will be denied good education, listen to Thomas Swell (video above). Hey, I know you won't, but I still have to try. :)


Popular posts from this blog

Situational Involvement of Consumers

There are two types of involvement that consumers have with products and services, Situational and Enduring. Situational involvement as the term suggests, occurs only in specificsituations whereas Enduring involvement is continuous and is more permanent in nature.

Decisions to buy umbrellas in India are driven by the onset of Indian monsoon. Monsoon rains arrived in India over the South Andaman Sea on May 10 and over the Kerala coast on May 28, three days ahead of schedule. But then, after a few days of rain, South India is witnessing a spate of dry weather. Temperatures are soaring in the north of India. The Umbrella companies in the state of Kerala are wishing for the skies to open up. So is the farming community and manufacturers of rural consumer products whose product sales depend totally on the farming community. The Met. department has deemed this dry spell as 'not unusual'.

India's monsoon rains have been static over the southern coast since last Tuesday because of a…

Prior Hypothesis Bias

Prior Hypothesis bias refers to the fact that decision makers who have strong prior beliefs about the relationship between two variables tend to make decisions on the basis of those beliefs, even when presented with the evidence that their beliefs are wrong. Moreover, they tend to use and seek information that is consistent with their prior beliefs, while ignoring information that contradicts these beliefs.

From a strategic perspective, a CEO who has a strong prior belief that a certain strategy makes sense might continue to pursue that strategy, despite evidence that it is inappropriate or failing.

Ref : Strategic Management : An Integrated Approach, 6e, Charles W L Hill, Gareth R Jones

Consumer Spending

Carpe Diem Blog: From Visual Economics, a graphical representation appears above (click to enlarge) of Consumer Expenditures in 2007, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Note that total spending on food ($6,133), clothing ($1,881) and housing ($16,920) represented 50% of consumer expenditures and 30% of income before taxes in 2007. In 1997 by comparison, 51.1% of consumer expenditures were spent on food, clothing and housing, and 44.6% of income before taxes was spent on food, clothing and housing (data here).