No compromise on education if America wants to be first: Obama

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : US President Barack Obama has again criticised a Republican proposal to cut the education budget by 20 percent, saying US must not compromise on education if it does not want to play second fiddle to India or China.

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“Nothing would be more detrimental to our prospects for success than cutting back on education. It would consign America to second place in our fiercely competitive global economy,” he said in his weekly radio and web address Saturday.

“But China and India aren’t playing for second. South Korea and Germany aren’t playing for second. They’re playing for first – and so should America,” Obama said.

Obama acknowledged the US is facing tough budgetary challenges, but said he is not willing to compromise with the children’s education.

“Instead of being short-sighted and short-changing our kids, we should be doubling down on them. We should be giving every child in America a chance to make the most of their lives; to fulfil their God-given potential.

“We should be fighting to lead the global economy in this century, just like we did in the last. And that’s what I’ll continue fighting to do in the months and years ahead,” Obama said.

From the start in January 2009, his administration has been fighting to offer every child in the “US world-class education – from the cradle to the classroom, from college through a career,” he said.

“We’re eliminating tens of billions of dollars in wasteful subsidies for banks to administer student loans, and using that money to make college more affordable for millions of students,” Obama said.

‘A Race to the Top’ scheme has been launched in the states to make sure that all students passing out from high school are ready for college to meet the goal of graduating a higher proportion of students from college than any other country in the world by 2020, he said.

“And yet, if Republicans in Congress had their way, we’d have a harder time meeting that goal. We’d have a harder time offering our kids the best education possible,” Obama said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])