Education For Employment

L to R: Cecilia Rouse and Craig Johnson

MUMBAI - 14 March 2016, Asia Society in association with the Princeton Club of India was delighted to welcome Cecilia Rouse, Dean,Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton University and Craig Johnson,Superintendent,American School of Bombay in a conversation about access to education and skill development.

"An educated population is a must for well-functioning democracy and robust economic health", stated Cecilia Rouse, leading up to the question: "How do we use our resources to provide better education for the U.S. and India?"

Cecilia Rouse began the afternoon by explaining the structure of U.S. schooling, its strengths and challenges. Emphasizing that access to a good education is a critical factor in a child's success, Ms. Rouse highlighted inequality in education as a major theme. Challenges also remain in cost and standardization of education. Tuition inflation has been dramatic over the last few decades. College, simply, is often times economically inefficient. Furthermore, education is not homogenous throughout the country as different states follow different curricula.

The development of skills including general, vocational, academic and emotional, are exceptionally important, all which help people learn. One of the great educational assets the U.S. has to offer is the concept of community colleges. Inexpensive, community college class schedules are very flexible and offer both academic and vocational training. Ms. Rouse believes that both academic and vocational learning are important for preparing children for college. In reality, many US students leave high school unprepared.

Craig Johnson, co-speaker, who is Principal of the American School of Bombay, emphasized the power of note taking, doing analytical comparison and reflecting on the notes. He asked Ms. Rouse what areas of research are transferable to India. Ms. Rouse responded that based on the research in the US, having good teachers, a greater number of teachers and small class sizes are key.

While talking about increasing productivity in India, Ms. Rouse believes education, health and employment need to be addressed. Regarding employment, having more people employed is more important than just having good paying jobs, so that productivity increases across the country.

The conversation was followed by questions and answers with the audience. Ms. Rouse and Mr. Johnson answered questions about the importance of teaching critical thinking to the students. They also encouraged internships as the key to making educational curricula relevant to students. Mr. Johnson and Ms. Rouse both believe that technology is a powerful tool when used as a complement to traditional ways of teaching.

Video: Watch the complete program (1 hr., 25 min.)

Reported by Nilza Mehta, Volunteer, Asia Society India Centre. 


Supported By:

Janmejaya Sinha,
Princeton PhD '96.

Yuvraj C. Singh,
Princeton Class of '94.

Rahul R. Mehra,
Princeton Class of '07,
Princeton Club of India.

In Partnership With: