Human Capital in Transition

The flux that characterizes the global economy is more intense, and its effects on our lives more profound. Labor is increasingly mobile. The premium on knowledge, skills, and creativity, in effect, on human capital, is higher. The influence of technology on our productivity is immense, that in tandem with human capital, on economic progress, doubtless, as are the challenges that countries would increasingly face to ensure universal education and health, hence enhance the prospects of increasing human capital, and that of assuring their economic progress. These challenges would transcend mere investments in human capital in quantitative terms, the nature, and quality of the investments, among others, and the goals that they aim to achieve, even more crucial. Indeed, an essential step in any proposed policy change on human capital would increasingly involve stipulating goals embodied in a vision, which would constitute the framework within which to implement planned initiatives. However, that the chasm between this vision and the facts of its realization could be colossal is evident in the seeming bind among legislators and education officials in the U.S., on the ‘No Child Left Behind,’ the federal education law specifying that all students tested in reading and math will attain grade level by 2014.

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