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Microsoft founder disappointed with Indian education system

Calling the education system in India a big disappointment, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates on Thursday said the education system in the country should be far better than what it is today.

“Most trends are positive, but my biggest disappointment when it comes to India is the education system. It should be far better. I don’t want to be critical, but I do want to create higher expectations about it,” he said during his visit to India.

Replying to a query if Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would consider expanding beyond health into education sector, Gates said he did not foresee his foundation expanding into India’s education sector.

“We can’t do everything. Most of India’s own philanthropists have picked education as a high priority and I’m very glad about that,” he said emphatically.

Gates appreciated the Indian government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and said that building toilets is like opening a savings account.

“The real challenge is getting people to use them. Part of our Swachh Bharat partnership with the government is to try and make sure that the toilets that are built are not so bad that you’d rather not use them. The first stage is behaviour change,” Gates said.

“In some parts of India, it’s worked really well, in some parts, not so well. Once a village passes the view that nobody should be doing open defecation, then it tends to stay. The nice thing is that if you intervene for just a few years, then sometimes it becomes the expectation, he added.

Bill Gates on Thursday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and discussed various welfare initiatives taken up by American philanthropists in India. Rajnath requested him to initiate health awareness programmes in India and suggested that his foundation should also concentrate on developing model villages.

Gates also explained about the various technologies being adopted by them in the field of agriculture and sanitation. He assured the Home Minister that the Foundation will offer constructive support to India.

Buddy4Study, India’s largest scholarship platform, is also on an aligned mission of improving the system of education through spreading awareness about scholarships and helping students pursue higher education without worrying about other aspects.

People looking for various kinds of scholarships to pursue their dream education should log on to Buddy4Study and apply online today itself before the deadline gets over.

Manmath Nayak

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