Obama thinks American kids losing out to India, China

August 18th, 2011 - 11:32 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) Set to roll out a new job growth plan next month, President Barack Obama wants American kids to focus on science, technology and maths where he feels the US is losing ground to India and China.

“I can guarantee you, if you are a skilled engineer, if you are a skilled computer scientist, if you’ve got strong math skills and technical skills, you are going to be very employable in today’s economy,” he told a crowd at an agricultural plant in his home state of Illinois.

To encourage learning in these areas, Obama said, “We’re trying to institute a whole-what’s called a STEM programme - science, technology, engineering and math - in the lower schools so that kids start getting oriented towards those fields.”

“That’s where we traditionally have had a comparative advantage, but we’re losing ground to China and India and places like that where those kids are just focused on those subjects,” he told a student at a town hall meeting in Atkinson, Illinois, near the end of a three-day bus tour through the politically pivotal Midwest.

Obama again cited growing demand for better food in emerging economies like India and China to tout creation of “biofuels out of switchgrass and wood chips and other materials that right now are considered waste materials” instead of corn.

“As you see more and more demand placed on our food supplies around the world-as folks in China and folks in India start wanting to eat more meat and commodity prices start going up, it’s going to be important for us to figure out how can we make biofuels out of things that don’t involve our food chain,” he said.

Obama is planning to roll out new job growth and deficit reduction plans immediately after Sep 5 Labour Day, media reports said.

He is thinking about proposing tax cuts for companies that hire workers, new spending for roads and construction, and other measures that target the long-term unemployed, the Washington Post said citing unnamed administration officials.

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