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01 Jul 2011, 15:15
The following appeared in a memorandum from the director of research and development at Ready-to-Ware, a software engineering firm:
“The package of benefits and incentives that Ready-to-Ware offers to professional staff is too costly. Our quarterly profits have declined since the package was introduced two years ago, at the time of our incorporation. Moreover, the package had little positive effect, as we have had only marginal success in recruiting and training high-quality professional staff. To become more profitable again, Ready-to-Ware should, therefore, offer the reduced benefits package that was in place two years ago and use the savings to fund our current research and development initiatives.”
In this passage, it is argued by the director of research and development at Ready-to-Ware that in order to make money and thrive, the company should remove the incentives putted in place two years ago. Support for this claim takes form, primarily, from the assumption that offering packages to workers is costly and that this incentives had little positive effects. On deeper analysis of the subject at hand, however, it becomes apparent that certain relevant aspects have not been taken into account leading to a number of flaws.
First, the director is assuming that with reducing the package to workers, the company will become again more profitable. What if the wages, even with those incentives, are already low compared to that of the competitors? It is possible that with taking the decision to reduce the incentives, workers will loose their motivation and then the productivity will become even worse. The director should benchmark the salaries and be sure that decreasing the package will not negatively impact the efficiency of the professional staff.
Second, the director considers that those packages are useless because the company was not able to hire high qualified professional staff. There are perhaps other factors that play a role in the fact that good professional flee the company. For instance it is possible that the image of the company is very bad or that the employment market is facing hard shortage and the best high qualified people choose to go to other more prestigious companies. This exactly what happened to ALTIS semiconductor when they looked to hire high potential engineers. Indeed, at the same time other companies such as STmicroelectronics or Infenion, more reputable, proposed the same positions. Naturally people prefer to go to the best semiconductor farms rather than ALTIS. Therefore, the director should include other aspects to explain why does the company is not able to recruit high qualified professional staff.
The line of the reasoning I have employed points out several flows in the passage. After closer examination of the matter, I conclude that the argument above is not logically sound.
“Schools should be responsible only for teaching academic skills and not for teaching ethical and social values.”
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the opinion expressed above. Support your point of view with reasons and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.
According to the author, in order to prepare a good new generation, the school should only be responsible for educating academic skill and not for instructing social rules. Personally I disagree with this thought for several reasons.
First, children are spending more time in the school with the education system staff than with their own parents especially nowadays. Indeed, a survey published by ‘Le Parisien’ a French newspaper shows that more than 70% of parents leave their offspring in the school at 7 am and catch them never before 6 or 7 pm. In this situation parents can not get enough time to go trough social values with their infants and children are not able to learn from their parents. This could explain the result of another study exhibiting the fact that the number of obsolete adolescent is increasing at least in France where the school, especially the public one, do not take car of the social education side. The situation can change if some material like “civic education” is incorporated in the curriculum of schools.
Second, if the ethical and social values are only teached by parent, a real problem of inequality will occur. In other words children of parent with a high social level will receive a better education than those who are descendent from lower educated parents. This can be exemplified by the behaviour of the adolescents in hot districts such as “Saint Denis”, a poor and very popular district in the north of Paris, when compared to those of Neuilly, a very chic district in the same city. Indeed, adolescent from the farmer district are always looking for their personality and always in conflict with police causing violent problem every time they are in a public place. I’m sure that if those same adolescent lived in better social families, their social values would be better.
In conclusion, I believe that schools should be responsible of the ethical and social education in addition to the academic skills.