Prime Minister Narendra Modi propagated the concept ‘Vocal for Local’, to make India self-reliant and boycott Chinese goods.

In addition to the coronavirus outbreak, the killing of Indian soldiers along the LAC in Ladakh by the Chinese military, has led to boycott of over 3000 Chinese goods.

Mumbai Schools Principals Association having around 1,900 principal members, has appealed to the students to boycott Chinese products such as stationery, school bags, water bottles, tiffin boxes etc and instead buy local products so as to boost Indian economy and inculcate patriotism in students.

According to a recent survey conducted in a market of Mumbai, the Chinese products are more trendy, durable and cheaper than Indian goods.

It would be difficult for common man to afford comparatively higher priced Indian products.

Even after the Indo-China war in 1962, India could not afford to keep China out of its markets as Chinese products helped low income groups improve their standard of living.

But now is the time, to boycott Chinese goods despite of the odds and challenges that India will have to face.

Challenges for India

Will the supply of local products in a stipulated time, be able to cope with the huge demand created due to sudden boycott of Chinese items? Wouldn’t it lead to shortage of products?

How to arrange for skilled manpower to manufacture cost effective products?

India has a vast population comprising of a huge number of talented youth, but is the country been able to utilize their skills and talent for economic growth?

For increasing skilled manpower in different fields, like the Chinese, let us focus on the roots, i.e. education.

Key points to learn from the Chinese education system:

Basic principles followed in school

Students are taught discipline, respecting elders and to be the best at whatever they do. Encouragement of good behavior is an important principle. A student receives stars/points for good conduct and misbehavior leads to loss of stars/points. Students’ behaviour charts on classroom walls are updated daily.

Experiential learning

China sends its science students to live with rural farmers, students learn to make best use of water, fertilizers, soil etc, this helps to boost the harvest tremendously.

The aim is to make the students apply their theoretical knowledge into farm productivity; this boosts student’s confidence, communication and thinking skills.

Since 1970, China’s education taught theory and practice as a combined curriculum in every course.

Scope for creativity and innovative thinking

Chinese education system does not burden the students with examinations, whereas Indian curriculum is filled with a set of examinations due to which the learning motive is lost. The Chinese curriculum has a lot of scope for creativity and innovative thinking.

Lot of emphasis laid on vocational training

In China, three years of kindergarten are not compulsory. There is only 9 years of compulsory schooling which consist of 6 years of primary and 3 years of senior secondary, after which the students can either go for higher studies or opt for vocational training courses. To create more skilled workers, a huge number of occupational skill certification courses are introduced.

More job creation and optimum use of talent

Variety of vocational courses gives more options to students to choose the course as per their own skill and talent. After the theoretical knowledge and field training, right job opportunities in relevant companies/industries are created.

The demand meets the supply

As per industry demands, vocational training and systematic education system is capable to create required skilled and creative labour which caters to the economic growth of the country.

Major hindrance for India

In ancient times, education was imparted according to the four basic castes in which the Indian society was divided; untouchability and depriving girls from education also existed.

Then, a lot was done by the government for girl education. In modern times, the curriculum has improved to a great extent but the system of quotas and reservations still prevail in India for higher studies. On other hand, the Chinese follow just one philosophy – providing the right kind of soil for all flowers to bloom. Education should be by merit and not by birth.

What is the permanent solution?

Less of exams in schools and more focus should be led upon experiential learning. The demand should meet the supply. The skills of the youth should not go a waste; they should be properly channelized and utilized by providing more vocational training courses to produce skilled manpower for specific industries and niche markets, with creating the right job opportunities.

All students should be given equal opportunities without any type of discrimination. A proper system for training the teachers for the new vocational courses should also be there.

On achieving this, India will surely have skilled manpower to produce durable as well as cost effective products just like the Chinese.

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