President Barack Obama says the U.S. has to “go back to basics” and fix its education system if it has to continue to be ahead in this highly competitive world as countries like India and China are catching up fast with the developed world.

Mr. Obama said it is time that Americans said to themselves that they are ready to make a change on behalf of the future of their children and grandchildren.

“We know that if we want to build a real future in an economy this competitive with China and India and Brazil and other countries on the rise, that we’re going to have to go back to basics,” Mr. Obama said in his speech at a fund raiser held for Senator Barbara Boxer in California.

“We’ve got to fix our education system. We’ve got to make sure that every young person in America has a chance to go to college,” the President said.

“We’ve got to make sure -- and by the way, you may have missed it during the health care debate, but we added billions of dollars in funding to student loans by cutting out the financial middlemen,” Mr. Obama said amidst several rounds of applause.

“Everybody knows that we are at an inflection point in our history, that we’ve got a choice between going back to the same status quo, except the status quo won’t work anymore.”

The President said the US will not be able to run an economy based on “maxing out credit cards”, taking out home equity loans and running up debt and the financial sector getting exorbitant profits based on a bunch of financial shenanigans.

Mr. Obama said Americans should get ready to make a change on behalf of the future. “It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen tomorrow. It won’t happen next week,” he said.

He said Americans should investing in clean energy technology, solar, wind, biodiesel, hybrid plug-ins and making buildings more efficient.

”...if we start finally saying to ourselves we can’t just let everybody pollute for free, if we follow science and we follow some common-sense principles, then, look, oil is still going to be in the energy mix,” he said.

“We’re not going to eliminate that completely. But we are going to over time transition to ourselves and we will become more energy efficient, which will be good for our national security, it will be good for our economy, it will be good for our environment, it will be good for our future,” Mr. Obama said.

By doing this, the US can create millions of jobs.