Apropos of the column “Democratisation of education can lead to better employability” (FE, October 10), I completely agree with Mr. Aditya Malik’s views. In the Indian context, these massive MOOCs could be the dawn of the education revolution. They carry the potential to truly democratise it, by ensuring the reach of the quality study material in the remotest of the places. They address the teacher availability issue & budgetary and infrastructure related concerns. But at the same time, one needs to consider the following potential dimensions, which would ensure the success or failure of the drive. Given the diversity of the language & dialects, the design of the courses could be a humongous task. For initiatives like Swayam, it cannot just be a case of repackaging the content like videos and assessment question papers, but would require careful considerations to make online learning more location specific. To make online learning more interactive, the focus should not only be on heavy texts and videos, but also on emerging technologies like augmented reality, gamification, virtual environments etc. There is a need to devise a framework which would ensure minimal drop outs. For instance, out of the 841,687 students enrolled at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, only 5% earn their course completion certificate.
Ashutosh Kumar Mishra
Noida, Uttar Pradesh
China is not the problem
Even as China’s, huge shadow banking system sets up its monetary morass, its overt financial system with huge non-performing loans, bad banks, inefficient state-owned enterprises and real estate bubbles has been creating a fiscal minefield. This is making the Chinese economy worryingly suspect, but not an omen to an all pervasive global plunge. Yuan is not a trading currency and is non-convertible, hence China’s fiscal and monetary burden stay caged within and little gets passed on to other economies. In contrast, the dollar retains its strength as other world economies have continued to under write the value of the dollar, in good and bad times. Last year’s China meltdown wrote off 30 % of its market cap—$2.8 trillion ,equal to the GDP of UK . Yet, global bourses shrugged it off after initial anxiety. The US one of 2008, saw a wipe out of $4 trillion—a third of its GDP, shaking economies across the world, which are still struggling to recover.