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Wednesday, October 26, 2005



A few stars are still twinkling in the inky pre-dawn sky when Koyampurath Namitha arrives for work in a quiet suburb of this south Indian city. It's barely 4:30 a.m. when she grabs a cup of coffee and joins more than two dozen colleagues, each settling into a cubicle with a computer and earphones. More than 7,000 miles away, in Glenview, Illinois, outside Chicago, it's the evening of the previous day and 14-year-old Princeton John sits at his computer, barefoot and ready for his hourlong geometry lesson. The high school freshman puts on a headset with a microphone and clicks on computer software that will link him through the Internet to his tutor, Namitha, many time zones away. It's called e-tutoring -- yet another example of how modern communications, and an abundance of educated, low-wage Asians, are broadening the boundaries of outsourcing and working their way into the minutiae of American life, from replacing your lost credit card through reading your CAT scan to helping you revive your crashed computer.
Seems like a very cool idea. It is also an great example of how 'outsourcing' is a benefit to both sides of the deal. Which country benefits economically from this relationship, the U.S. or India? Clearly, it is both. India gets jobs it would not otherwise have, and an incentive to continue to develop competant mathematicians and scientists. The U.S. gets a better educated populace and one-on-one training for students who otherwise could not afford it. Beyond that of course the entire world will benefit from the ideas these educated people in both countries will generate and spread. Economics is not a zero-sum game with any gains for one side happening at the result of others. That is the wonder of a market based system, the fact that both sides gain from a trade.


Blogger The probligo said...

I wonder what would happen if Indian biology teachers started teaching the Hindu creation myth as science...


10/26/2005 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Or imagine what would happen if an entire nation rejected nuclear technology in favor of whole earth gaian myth?

10/26/2005 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cubicle said...

Yea I heard it said, I don't know where, for what we pay spainish teachers, each one of those kids could get their own person mexican tutor (and the tutors would get paid more per day than they would in their home country, and they get to stay home...heh heh)

10/26/2005 06:33:00 PM  

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