child_labour12.jpg  Children Working in a Brick Factory in India An Indian academic has roundly attacked foreign donors and the World Bank for damaging  education in India Professor Anil Sadgopal , former Dean of Education at Delhi University has launched a trenchant attack on international interference in Indian education in a wide ranging interview. In response to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's assertion that the World Bank initiated programme Sarva Shisha Abhiyan (SSA Education for All) is 'proving to be very effective and remarkable progress is being made' Professor Sagdopal says that far from making progress SSA has brought about a disatrous dilution of India's previous constitutional commitment to 8 years of education for all. The SSA programme merely talks about the enrollment of children in primary school whereas in fact it is impossible for young people to get a decent job without 12 years of education and certainly they are entitled to at least 8 if they are to become properly educated citizens. In fact at present only 48% of students complete 8 years of education and only 5-8% of dalits or tribals complete 12 years of education. Professor Sagdopal says that the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education by 2015 which is being pushed through the World Bankk SSA programme, heavily supported by the Biritsh government emphasises literacy rather than education. 'The Millennium Development Goal for education talks of literacy, while our goal is education. They talk of skills, when our constitution’s goal is a democratic, socialist, egalitarian citizen. They talk of only five years of schooling, while our goal is eight years of education.' He goes on 'Creating a skilled worker who is literate may be all right for your factories, but it’s not all right for our country. As someone said, India is a nation, not a corporation'. According to Sadgopal the SSA is simply paying NGO's to test children on reading one sentence and then compiling statistics on that basis. And even on the basis of these statistics the programme is failing. Read the whole of this fascinating interview at: http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3550