Monday, March 7, 2011

Miracles Shanti Bhavan is a school in India that I look up to in awe and wonderment. Can America do the same thing? We will fight culture but so have they.

In short, Shanti Bhavan educates children of the untouchable caste. These people live in the slums and are not expected to ever rise above, say, prostitution. There is no argument that where these children come from, and what culture dictates for them, is much worse than America's poor. And yet these children receive an education and they go on to university...challenging what America calls the achievement gap. These children come from nothing and surpass personal, familial, institutional, cultural, and historical expectations.

If they can do it, why can't we?

We have our own set of factors. In our favor is less of a stigma towards our poor and minorities, and better living conditions. So why can't we do the same as Shanti Bhavan? (I'm calling it SB from now on)

We don't let our children live at school like SB. SB can control more than we- we have students from 8-3 but parents can help or harm our efforts the rest of the time. However, I'm not proposing we house children because I don't trust our "system".

We have better lives and that is...good for obvious reasons but it robs us of any drive. Why try and improve oneself when you can continue generational poverty and entitlement? Welfare is easier than school.

Our culture also doesn't value education as much as India. We outsource to India not just for price but education as well. Indians are cheaper, more educated, have drive we lack. But as said it isn't just about saving money or else we'd outsource to say Rwanda.

However, if SB overcomes many barriers deemed impossible- which they do-can't we overcome the barriers listed above?

Can't we awaken the drive and wonderment in our children?

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