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January 23, 2020

Step-by-step

Newspost

 
January 23, 2020

This letter refers to the article ‘Lessons from China’ by Atta-Ur-Rahman (Jan 22, 2020). He recommends that as China is sending about 600,000 students to the top universities of the world each year, we must follow suit with at least 10,000 students annually and that “our single focus should be manufacture and export high technology products.” This amounts to building castles in the air. China has plentiful forex reserves and a large current account surplus, it can afford to send as many students to foreign universities as it likes. Our forex reserves are made of borrowed money and loans at high interest rates while our balance of payments is chronically negative. We cannot afford to send 10,000 students to foreign universities.

Besides, you cannot start education from PhDs in world class universities and exporting high technology products while still lacking in primary and secondary education and basic industrial technology. Development takes place step by step; you cannot jump two steps at a time.

Abdul Majeed

Islamabad