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close this bookWorld Conference on Education for All: Meeting Basic Learning Needs - Final Report (UNICEF - UNDP - UNESCO - WB - WCEFA, 1990, 129 p.)
close this folder2. Education for All: The Context - Summary of the Opening Session
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentA Unique Opportunity
View the documentExternal Debt, Optimization of Resources
View the documentBasic Education: Broadening the Concept
View the documentVision, Will, Partnerships
View the documentA Focus on Human Development

External Debt, Optimization of Resources

Two themes which became of major importance in the World Conference debate were highlighted by the opening speakers: the urgency of reducing the burden of external debt, without which developing countries cannot realistically foresee increasing investment in basic education, and the importance of optimizing scarce resources. As stated by the UNESCO Director-General, the "reaffirmation of political will" will have to be measured in restructuring of international cooperation, as well as of education systems and national budgets.

President Borja, for example, speaking on behalf of Latin America, largely ascribed poor educational conditions to the enormous burden of external debt. The impossibility of repaying debt and at the same time meeting the internal needs for progress, he stated, demand Equitable and fair responses from creditor countries to the problem of... external debt".

Optimization of national resources demands flexibility in the provision of education through diverse approaches - "Our National Plan of Action", stated President Ershad, "proposes realistic strategies that mix innovative and unconventional approaches with conventional and traditional ones... communication channels, both traditional and modern, will be utilized to the maximum... Stress is placed on making optimum use of the resources available".

Education for all needs the contribution to education from all... If we combine vision with pragmatism political will with economic resourcefulness, international solidarity with national commitment, the expertise of educators with the fresh contributions of the media, science and technology, the business community, voluntary organizations and many others - then, and probably only then, the struggle to bring education to all can be won.

F. Mayor
Director-General, UNESCO