Washington: US President Barack Obama has
warned of an "education arms race" with China and India and said that any cut in the education budget as recommended by the opposition Republican Party would be detrimental to
America`s national interest.
"Nothing would be more shortsighted," Obama said in
his Rose Garden at White House, in remarks to the press in
reference to the Republican proposal to cut education budget.
"There`s an educational arms race taking place around
the world right now ?- from China to Germany, to India to
South Korea. Cutting back on education would amount to
unilateral disarmament. We can`t afford to do that," he said.
The President said that the nation that educates its
children the best would be the nation that leads the global
economy in the 21st century.
"Now, ultimately, this is not just about making our
economy more competitive. It`s not just about preparing our
kids for the jobs of the future ?- though all those things are
absolutely essential. It`s also about who we are as a people,"
"It`s about building a brighter future where every
child in this country has a chance to rise above any barriers
of race or faith or station, and they can fulfil their
God-given potential; where the American Dream is a living
reality. By opening the doors of college to anyone who wants
to go, that`s a future we can help build together," he added.
Obama said if the Republicans in Congress had their
way that would be more difficult.
"They`ve proposed cutting back on education by 20 per
cent. That means reducing financial aid for eight million
students and leaving our community colleges without the
resources they need to prepare our students for the jobs of
the future," he argued.
The President said at a time when the unemployment
rate of those who`ve never gone to college has almost doubled,
"what it is for those who have gone to college, when most of
the new jobs being created will require some higher education,
when countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us
tomorrow, offering our children a world-class education isn`t
just a moral obligation, it`s an economic imperative."
He said since the start of his administration, they
been doing everything they can to make that kind of education
possible, from the cradle to the classroom, from college
through a career.
"We`re reforming Head Start and challenging weak
programs to compete for funds -? because if you`re receiving
tax dollars you should be delivering results for our kids.
We`re launching a Race to the Top in our states, which is
raising standards and promoting excellence in teaching ?- so
our students, all of them, can graduate ready for college and
a career," he argued.