“Children are our most valuable resource.”
– Herbert Hoover, President of US
What happens at HR conferences apart from presentations, intellectual debates, back slapping, and networking? Not much. It is nothing more than meeting of mutual admiration society. I am yet to attend any conference which discusses real HRD issues that India is facing ex. how current trends will impact future of human resources in year 2030.
Let have look at current situation. 50% of children below age of 5 are malnourished, female foeticide continues, poor quality of primary education and high school dropout rate of girl child.
I will talk bit more on malnourishment. To calculate malnourishment, a sample of healthy children is taken, their mean weight and standard deviation is calculated. Next you take actual weight of child, from it deduct ideal weight ( mean of sample) and divide it by standard deviation, what it gives is Z value i.e. how many standards deviation is actual weight of child from ideal mean, if value lies between -2 to +2 child’s weight is normal, anything less than -2 is malnourishment. Now almost half of the population below age of 5 was found to be malnourished. Ideally 95.4% of population should lie between 2 sigma i.e. +2 to -2, now if 50% of population is beyond -2, then it means something is SERIOUSLY wrong.
Malnourishment affects physical and cognitive growth i.e. not only will child have stunted physical growth, it will also affect his/her cognitive capabilities like memory, intelligence, language development etc. Even if child braves malnourishment, the school that he/she attends is poor quality in terms of infrastructure facilities, quality of teaching staff etc. By the time he/she completes graduation, industry will find him/her unemployable.
For female child, challenges are even tougher, first she has to survive foeticide, and then overcome malnourishment and lastly, she will be lucky even if she is allowed to avail substandard educational facilities.
It is surprising that nation is not bothered about sheer waste of nation’s most precious resource- human resource. FYI, India has minister for Human Resource Development.
By year 2030, these children will join the workforce, i.e. how we treat them today and in future will decide quality of future employees.
I am yet to attend any HR conference where issues of foeticide, malnourishment, and poor educational facilities ever get discussed. But then strategy has never been forte of HR.