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Youth exhorted to broaden outlook

Special Correspondent

TAMBARAM: Fredrick J. Kaplan, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, exhorted educated youth to learn to speak more than one language and be comfortable with people from other countries and cultures.

Speaking at the valedictory function of the College Union Society at Madras Christian College, Tambaram recently, Mr. Kaplan said students should have an understanding of the wider world as “economies and peoples of the world were intertwined like never before in human history.”

Students were today preparing for jobs that may not yet exist and hence, memorisation would not get them far, he said. As barriers to trade and investment come down, what counted for American business was a hard working, well educated labour force, a capable management, political stability and rule of law.

Mr. Kaplan said the mantra of meritocracy extended beyond education. Great companies existed where merit and creativity were more important than seniority. “The more technology we have in our lives the more education becomes the decisive factor in our sense of well being, the separator between the haves and the have-nots,” he explained. The future was very much tied to the educational level of the people and a country’s integration in the global economy.

College principal V.J. Philip and Joseph Barnabas, vice-president of the College Union Society, were present.

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