have a populace who do not think and do not ask questions. In fact one can say that this is perhaps the dream of all leaders. Generals of the armed forces, for example, could be said to have a much easier job in managing their troops than the President of a corporation managing his/her employees, because of the absolute top-down system in the armed forces.
At the same time, educating the people is the only avenue for any country to survive, especially in this day and age. A country’s human resource is increasingly its major commodity and bargaining power. Education in many senses has become the human resource value adding process. Manage this process well, and one will produce a more saleable commodity, irrespective whether this human resource is expended within or outside the country itself.
In the end, education is inevitable. Leaders and governments will need to be able to cope with increasingly educated population.
The other dilemma is the gap between the will and the capability as well the capacity of a country to educate its people. Those leaders and countries that have honorable intentions with their population often do not have the means to realize their intentions.
If it is a consolation, developing countries can cite Frederick Taylor’s Scientific Management which made the West take a hundred years to realize that people’s education do not stagnate. It is only in the last thirty years or so that workers were allowed to think about and in, doing their jobs and only in the last few years that they were allowed to make decisions through the process of empowerment.
The ultimate dilemma for developing countries is the need to leapfrog (and not go through what the West went through a hundred or so years before) while eliminating the risks of getting things wrong using untested methods and processes in leapfrogging.
N IDRUS TRANSFORMING QUALITY FOR DEVELOPMENT KEYNOTE PAPER 7QHES, 29-31 OCTOBER 2002, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA