A continuation of the TWO MILLION MINUTES documentary film, this blog offers deeper insights into education in China, India and the United States, and the challenge America faces. Now you can join a dialog about what governments, communities and families should and are doing to best prepare US students for satisfying careers in the 21st century.
The 2008 BIO International Convention was held last week in San Diego and most of the buzz was about the rapid gains China and India have made in the Biotech field.
Here are a few relevant quotes from the panel on Asian Biotech:
Charles Hsu (Bay City Capital):“A chief scientific officer from an
international big pharma company told me 'we are no longer coming to China for cost savings, we are coming
because the Chinese work hard and they value education. We no longer
find that in the US.'”
Michael Hui (Shanghai ChemPartner): "In 2002, our company was
getting started, now it
has 1,300 scientists. In 2002 Shanghai ChemPartners was the only
biomedical company in the Zhiangjiang Technology Park in Shanghai. Now there are 1,000 biomedical companies.
"Chinese scientists working in
America now want to go back to China, unlike three years ago. Because
of the huge upsurge in biomedical business activity."
"The biggest challenge is IP because the whole industry is heading
toward the high value part of the drug chain.Still the elements of IP
protection – a confidentially agreement, the non-compete, the culture
of disclosure (most important and changing) – are becoming easier as
they become more familiar. More law firms are establishing an office in
Shanghai, showing that the biotech industry is very concerned with IP
protection. This is a good sign."
Charles Hsu (Bay City Capital): "Every time I’ve tried to make a
prediction, I’ve been too conservative. For China and India, truly
front-line drug discovery will take place, much more quickly than
Kiplinger wrote a brief report on the conference worth reading.
Hmmmm...I guess that is what happens when every child wants to be an engineer or scientist when they grow up - rapid growth of science-based businesses.
Martial arts shows? American re-runs? Chinese talk shows?
NOPE, it is ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
What is hot on Chinese TV is a show called Ying Zai Zhongguo or Win In China - a blend between a collegiate business plan competition, Survivor and The Apprentice.
And the payoff for the winner is not some lackey job with Donald Trump. It is $1.3 million in start-up capital to start their own company. By contrast the MIT Business Plan competition winner gets a measly $100,000. The Communists understand it takes more capital these days to launch an entrepreneurial venture, I guess.
Some of the finalists of the first season of Win In China, winnowed down from an initial 3,000 entrepreneurial business plans.
Quite a few Americans, including several venture capitalists, are involved in Win In China - a few of their comments (only slightly scripted, but no gun to their heads), including the CEO of NASDAQ, are HERE
The show airs on CCTV - the Communist controlled television. Here's how several contestants and broadcast officials describe the goal of Win IN China:
“Chinese culture does not facilitate creativity as much as we need.... the show will introduce the “positive power” of entrepreneurship."
Contestant Ms. Zhou said she hoped potential entrepreneurs would learn the importance of both perseverance and passion.
“After the final episode, a friend called and said: ‘I have to quit my work unit and my company! I have to be an entrepreneur, because I want a new life.’”
A lot of viewers of Two Million Minutes have asked how the high school coursework compares between the three countries.
To address that question in depth, I will be publishing a detailed comparison of the Indian National Education Standards (ISCE) for high school with the curriculum standards of Indiana - where the US students live - later this summer.
And I will have a comparison with the Chinese National Standards in the fall (they are being translated from Mandarin right now).
To give you an early sample of the differences, here are the classes Apoorva and Rohit took in high school in India: Indian 9th and 10th Grade:
Math Chemistry Biology Physics World History Geography English Grammar English Literature Hindi Grammar (Rohit took Sanskrit) Hindi Literature Civics Computer Programming (C++ in 9th and Java in 10th)
In 11th and 12th Grades students must chose 1 of three paths based on their scores on the Standard X proficiency exams (about 20 hours of testing - more on that another time)
Score 80% or above in all subjects - Science Track Score 60%-80% - Commerce or Liberal Arts Track (specific industry tracks like Fashion) Score below 40% on any exams - repeat 10th grade (that's the Indian definition of a "high stakes exam" - the student bears the consequences - what an odd idea)
So Apoorva and Rohit took the science track.
Indian 11th and 12th Grade - Science Track:
Math Chemistry Physics English Grammar English Literature Computer Science Environmental Education
The Indian students and their Principal on their recent visit to the US were startled to learn that American high school students take only one year of Physics, Chemistry and Biology and not every State requires all three.
In the details of my forthcoming Comparative Curriculum Report, I think most Americans will find the Indian and Chinese high school classes to be remarkably deep, thorough and rigorous.