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Book Review - Does Education Matter?: Myths about Education and Economic Growth
Politicians and market forces along as well as the public at large have their own opinions on education which seems to have created a lot of myths about education. The book "Does Education Matter?: Myths About Education and Economic Growth" says that politicians these days see education as developmental and economic panacea and term education as 'an engine for growth and prosperity'.

However, education has developed as an academic area of knowledge and profession with intrinsic values and philosophical foundations which are being totally ignored by the politicians and market forces who view education as a commodity and tool for job market or economic growth.

Author of the book under review, Alison Wolf, takes a critical look of various successive governments' education policies in the UK and elsewhere to challenge many of the tenets of received wisdom about education that create myths about the linkage between education and economic growth. The book, explores the questions related to educational policies and that promise of deliverance of economic growth through expansion and extension of education.

The book, spread into 352 pages has eight chapters, four of them, namely, the growth of formal education; the tyranny of numbers and the growth of the modern university; the decline and fall of vocational education; the higher education market. While, other three are the issue based chapters and are titled as questions to highlight the myths created by the educational policies of various governments, such as: Elixir or snake oil? Can education really deliver growth? Does business know best? Why worry about training? The last chapter discusses the conclusions in the form of lessons that can be drawn regarding education as an engine of economic growth and prosperity.

The analysis of the author of the book published by Penguin-UK informs that obsession of the governments in the educational agenda is that of quantifiable and measurable goals to express progress and results satisfactorily leading to reported increase in enrolments and fixing higher educational qualification levels among the population and employees are the main agenda these days.

In such a scenario, the role of education and that of educators has become to transmit the leading political and economic agendas of curricula, says the author. With expansion of education and politicians' emphasis on the importance of education for economic competitiveness, the available resources per participant have been seriously lowered and the student-teacher ratio worsened, analyzes the book.

According to book, with the expansion of education, many graduates end up in jobs for which they are overqualified, becoming drivers, waiters and shop assistants. The author of book maintains that it's the quality of education not it's quantity, which is vital and at the same time rejects the equalisation of quality so that educational institutions should achieve almost the same results with innovations and creativity.

The book provides valuable cautions both to politicians and creators of educational policies, not only in developed countries, but also in transitional and developing countries, which very often try to replicate the educational systems of highly industrialised countries.

It is a valuable book since it can work as an eye opener for the academicians, teachers and educators to the kind of games the politicians and market forces play to undermine the intrinsic values of education and autonomy of educational institutions and their wisdom.

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