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close this bookMeeting Basic Learning Needs: A Vision for the 1990s (UNICEF - UNDP - UNESCO - WB - WCEFA, 1990, 170 p.)
close this folder2. The Context and Effects of Basic Learning in the World
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentA. Basic Education Data
Open this folder and view contentsB. Indicators of the Context and Effects of Basic Education
View the documentC. The State of Adult Basic Education
View the documentD. The State of Early Child Development
View the documentE. Progress and Prospects

A. Basic Education Data

National data sets on the state of basic learning have four significant limitations. First, data are more commonly available for the formal education system and are incomplete to nonexistent for the wide range of out-of-school programmes for youth and adults. Second, the data predominantly include learning inputs, sometimes outputs, but rarely indicators of the learning process. Third, the data are highly aggregated and do not always reflect the internal diversity of nations, systems, or even institutions. And fourth, the data rarely reveal qualitative dimensions of the quantitative measures.

Given these data limitations, it should be recognized that more is known about basic learning than can be validated with available data and techniques. Thus, when data or statistical results appear illogical or even counterintuitive, one should be prepared to reexamine the situation carefully before abandoning one’s original conception of the learning relationships. In the discussions that follow, the aggregate data currently available on primary and adult education will be supplemented with case studies, country-specific examples, and logical inferences.