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close this bookMeeting Basic Learning Needs: A Vision for the 1990s (UNICEF - UNDP - UNESCO - WB - WCEFA, 1990, 170 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentGlossary
close this folder1. Global Challenges and Human Development
View the documentA. Introduction
close this folderB. The Global Challenges
View the document(i) Economic stagnation and decline
View the document(ii) Economic disparities
View the document(iii) Marginalized populations
View the document(iv) Environmental degradation
View the document(v) Rapid population growth
View the documentC. Constraints on Human Development
View the documentD. The Role of Human Development in Addressing Global Challenges
View the documentE. Defining Basic Learning Needs
View the documentF. New Opportunities for Human Development
close this folder2. The Context and Effects of Basic Learning in the World
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentA. Basic Education Data
close this folderB. Indicators of the Context and Effects of Basic Education
View the document(introduction...)
View the document(i) Background characteristics
View the document(ii) Financial capacity
View the document(iii) Educational effort
View the document(iv) Educational effects
View the document(v) Social impacts
View the documentC. The State of Adult Basic Education
View the documentD. The State of Early Child Development
View the documentE. Progress and Prospects
close this folder3. An Expanded Vision of Basic Education for All
close this folderA. Shaping the Vision
View the document(introduction...)
View the document(i) Universalizing access and promoting equity
View the document(ii) Focussing on learning
View the document(iii) Broadening the means and scope of basic education
View the document(iv) Enhancing the environment for learning
View the document(v) Strengthening partnerships
close this folderB. Requirements for Implementing the Vision
View the document(i) Developing a supportive policy context
View the document(ii) Mobilization of resources
View the document(iii) Strengthening international solidarity
close this folder4. Meeting Basic Learning Needs: Analyzing Policies and Programmes
View the documentA. Introduction
View the documentB. Early Child Development
close this folderC. Meeting the Basic Learning Needs of Children
View the document(introduction...)
View the document(i) Increasing relevance
View the document(ii) Improving quality
View the document(iii) Promoting equity
View the document(iv) Enhancing efficiency
close this folderD. Meeting the Basic Learning Needs of Youth and Adults
View the document(introduction...)
View the document(i) Content and relevance
View the document(ii) Programmes and quality
View the document(iii) Effects and equity
View the document(iv) Monitoring and elf Liens
close this folder5. Strategies for the 1990s
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderA. Priority Action at National Level
View the document(introduction...)
View the document(i) Assessing needs, planning action and defining targets
View the document(ii) Creating a supportive policy environment
View the document(iii) Designing policies to improve basic education
View the document(iv) Improving managerial, analytical and technological capacities
View the document(v) Mobilizing information and communication channels
View the document(vi) Building partnerships and mobilizing resources
close this folderB. Priority Action at the Regional Level
View the document(introduction...)
View the document(i) Exchanging information, experience and expertise
View the document(ii) Undertaking joint activities
close this folderC. Priority Action at World Level
View the document(i) Status and prospects of external funding
View the document(ii) Concerted and sustained long-term support for national and regional actions
View the document(iii) Enhancing national capacities
View the document(iv) Consultations on policy issues
View the document(v) Co-operation within the international context
close this folderAnnex 1 - Basic Data
View the documentCountry Key
View the documentAnnex - Table 1: Background National Characteristics
View the documentAnnex - Table 2: Indicators of Financial Capacity
View the documentAnnex - Table 3: Indicators of Educational Effort
View the documentAnnex - Table 4: Indicators of Educational Process and Results
View the documentAnnex - Table 5: Indicators Of Social Effects
View the documentAnnex - Table 6: Participation in Adult Education
View the documentTechnical Notes
View the documentAnnex 2 - Financing Primary Schooling: An Analysis of Alternatives
View the documentAnnex 3 - Selected Bibliography
View the documentAppendix - World Declaration on Education for All
View the documentBack cover

F. New Opportunities for Human Development

As the range and gravity of problems facing the world’s nations have grown, so too has awareness of the need to emphasize human development on global and national agendas. From settings as diverse as the 1987 Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, the 1988 Cartagena meeting of Latin American Ministers of State, the 1988 North-South Roundtable in Amman, the ongoing work of the South Commission, and numerous United Nations meetings, a general understanding has emerged: Real development is human development, and long-term economic growth and social wellbeing rest on the quality of life of every woman and man.

Confidence in this view has grown as countries have accumulated experience in providing basic education. Many countries have made remarkable societal improvements as a result of their sustained investment in basic learning opportunities. The experience of Europe and North America, and more recently of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Singapore, strongly support the conclusion that basic education is a necessary part of an equitable and efficient foundation for national development.

Despite the real financial constraints evident in the 1980s, some countries have had striking success in fostering a better quality of life for all. Major global initiatives, such as those related to access to clean water and sanitation, primary health care, immunization, and child survival, have each saved millions of lives and enhanced the well-being of hundreds of millions of people. Since the 1970s, an estimated 1.1 billion people have benefited from improved water supply and sanitation facilities, and in four low-income African countries the percentage of the population with access to clean water doubled from 1980 to 1985. Worldwide, over 60 percent of all children are now vaccinated against the six major diseases that kill young people, and the goal of universal immunization seems near. This is an astonishing improvement over 1974 when only 5 percent of the babies born in the developing world received these vaccinations. One child survival technique alone, oral rehydration therapy, saves as many as a million infants’ lives a year.

These successes required major initiatives, concerted action, and the formation of development alliances. Equally indispensable was the use of new communication technologies to disseminate the knowledge and skills needed to deal with the problems of water, sanitation, and health. In sum, these examples are dramatic proof that where there is a willingness and a commitment, gains in human development can be attained, even within the financial and other constraints of the current global challenges.

Recently, the development literature has focussed more on constraints than on opportunities. A review of the state of basic learning in the world will reveal, however, that these constraints are not the absolute barriers to progress that many have assumed; with strong public and private commitments, they can be overcome. Constraints and opportunities are part of a complex whole where demographic, cultural, sociopolitical, technical, economic, environmental, and strictly educational factors are interrelated in a circular pattern of causes and effects. Each nation must be viewed individually: its background characteristics, financial capacity, and past educational efforts combine to determine the ultimate impact of learning achievement on its population. Whatever the constraints, a societal willingness and effort can minimize the inhibiting effects of these constraints and allow each country to exploit the unprecedented global opportunity to meet its current challenges.