Beijing, Bangalore outdo us in education: Obama

Beijing, Bangalore outdo us in education: Obama

Beijing, Bangalore outdo us in education: Obama

Billions of people from countries like India and China are striving hard to “out-educate” Americans in mathematics and technology, US President Barack Obama has said, while stressing education reforms to prepare Americans for a global economy where “jobs can go anywhere”.

“In previous generations, America’s standing economically was so much higher than everybody else’s that we did not have a lot of competition. Now you have got billions of people from Beijing to Bangalore to Moscow, all of whom are competing with you directly. And they are — those countries are working every day to out-educate and out-compete us,” said Obama in his remarks to students at the Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn here on Friday.

“And every year brings more research showing them pulling ahead, especially in some of the subject matter that this school specialises in—math and science and technology. So we have got a choice to make,” he said.

Obama said if the workforce is not educated enough, it will be left behind and find it hard to get a job that pays a living wage.  “We live in a 21st century global economy. And in a global economy, jobs can go anywhere. Companies are looking for the best-educated people, wherever they live, and they will reward them with good jobs and good pay,” he said.  “We can just kind of shrug our shoulders and settle for something less, or we can do what America has always done, which is adapt. We pull together, we up our game, we hustle, we fight back, we work hard, and we win.”

Obama joked that he had asked students at the Brooklyn school if they could help him help his daughter Malia with her math homework.

“I don’t know if some of you have experienced this where you get to the point where your children ask you for help and you suddenly realise you have no idea what’s going on,” he said amid laughter from his young audience.

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