Reply to Nermin’s Post – – access and social justice


FORUM: Current development and discourses on work and learning


Reply to Nermin’s Post – – access and social justice  (link to forum)

NERMIN WROTE: While Brown in Formation in the Twenty-First Century makes the point that “it is those countries that can succeed in upgrading the quality of their workforce who will become the ‘magnet’ economies for high skilled work”. When breaking that down and comparing it to my reality, I see that the biggest role belongs to the country rather than the individual. The reason is that the well financed minority that do have access to a proper knowledge foundation through international learning institutions are aware of their ability to form a strong human capital, one that can advance the country’s knowledge productivity and improve its economic stand. However, that potential workforce is paralyzed if the country refuses to invest in the education of the rest of its people, or provide the necessary environment that facilitates that goal’s achievement.

Hi Nermin,

Thank you for your really good post.

I noticed a discrepancy in some of the readings that is due to dated statistics. Between the time when the articles were written and today a few things have happened that make us now wonder about the validity of certain statements. One of them is the one you cited, concerning the magnet effect of certain countries. It seems to me that the rules of the game have changed dramatically. Yesterday I read in the news that a group of highly skilled Italian engineers were almost chased out of town in England for “having taken away jobs from locals.” Aside from the absurdity of the situation, since freedom of movement and choice of employment inside the E.U. are by now an established reality and acquired rights, the news reveals how the “magnet” model has ceased to work.

Then you gave an example about “your country.” I am not sure what country you are referring to, but I assume it’s relevant to your point to know that information. Could you please clarify? (Claudia also responded with a reference to “my country.” I would extend the same question to her as well (-: ) I believe the issue you raised in the second part of your post relates to equity, social justice and also to access to education. I read your post as if you were saying (tell me if I misunderstood) that your country’s government gives a selected elite of promising individuals the opportunity to establish a strong “human capital” that they will later use to help benefit the country. Then there is the “rest of its people” that should have access – but apparently doesn’t – to what sounds like “regular education.” To me this sounds like an approach that rests on a government’s selection and that does not seem to address the issue of access and self-realization for the general population.

I would be interested to know what criteria are used in your country to select the pool of individuals who will then be given the chance to pursue further education.

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