AKA Thomas Babington MaCaulay* vs Sugata Mitra**.
MaCaulay's approach to education in India was that Indians could/would only be able to access "proper" education and modern scientific knowledge through the medium of the English language and it would not be possible through classical Indian languages.
His role, he saw, was to establish a very westernising Anglist approach to government and education in India producing "Indian's in blood and colour but English in tastes, opinions, morals and intellect."
To him and his contempories British culture was the highest form of human civilisation
Sugata on the other hand seems to fly totally in the face of this and remove a teacher and language as a barrier and invest full confidence in the learner themselves and their own ability to seek out knowledge.
I guess we all need a teacher whether that teacher is ourselves or not. In my experience some children are so disenfranchised from a culture of learning (for whatever reason - I imagine from needs not met in earlier life or the same transferred to them from their caregivers) that they need a strong connection with someone to get them interested in being motivated to learn.
Perhaps then it is a question of what they are learning - academics is not the first priority in my experience.
* Thomas Babington MaCauley, a Brit, who lived in the 1800s; is mentioned here in the context of his pivotal membership of the East India Company and conveyor of British Imperialism to other parts of the world.
** Sugata Mitra - lives in Modern times, is a professor of Educational Technology and is mentioned here in the context of his 'Hole in the Wall' experiment.