New Internationalist

The Facts

Issue 122

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EDUCATION [image, unknown] The facts

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The FACTS

Education: The facts.
Photo: UNICEF

Education
Mass public education is a recent phenomenon. Until the industrial revolution most schooling was run by the church and available only to sons of the wealthy. In the West, publicly-financed education expanded rapidly towards the end of the 19th century and continued to mushroom (with a break during the war years) until the early 1970s.

Colonial powers also left their educational mark on the Third World, introducing Western curricula and the formal classroom structure. Despite the introduction of locally-run school systems after decolonization many Third World nations continue to mimic Western models.

Enrolment Boom...
The 1960s end early 70s were the great boom yearn it education. By 1979 over 60% of Third World primary age children and nearly 40 per cent of secondary age were in school In the developed countries in the same peer nearly 95% of oil primary age children were in school and over 90% of all secondary age.

Total number of students as a percentage of age group (1960—79)

 
Primary School
Secondary School
Post-Secondary School
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Country* 1960 1979 1960 1979 1960 1979
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POOR WORLD
Tanzania
20
104
2
4
Mozambique
48
107
2
9
Senegal
27
42
3
10
1
2
Zimbabwe
06
104
0
15
Nigeria
30
70
4
10
Bangladesh
47
60
0
20
1
2
India
01
78
20
27
3
0
Sri Lanka
95
98
27
03
1
1
Philippines
00
00
20
03
13
27
Malaysia
06
93
19
02
1
3
Bolivia
64
62
12
30
4
13
Peru
03
112
15
50
4
17
Guatemala
40
60
7
15
2
8
Cuba
109
112
14
71
3
19
Costa Rico
06
107
21
40
5
24
Brazil
90
00
11
32
2
11
Mexico
00
124
11
45
3
12
Chile
100
110
24
05
4
12
Argentina
00
110
23
06
11
23
Jordan
77
102
20
74
1
Iraq
65
120
19
00
2
9
Saudi Arabia
12
04
2
31
7
Kuwait
117
99
37
74
12
RICH WORLD
New Zealand
100
107
73
01
13
20
Australia
103
111
51
00
13
20
UK
02
105
60
83
0
20
USA
110
98
00
07
32
50
Canada
107
102
40
00
16
37
Japan
103
101
74
00
10
20
USSR
100
101
49
104
11
21
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* For countries with universal primary education gross enrolment ratios may exceed 100% because some pupils may be below or above the official primary school age.


Scholars and dollars

• Public spending on education in poor countries increased front $7.8 billion in 1965 to $55 billion in 1978, a jump of nearly 700%.

• In the rich world spending rose from $68 billion to $419 billion an increase of nearly 500%.

• Still, with over 60% of the world’s students the Third World has only 11.6% of the world’s total education budget.

Public expenditure on education 1965—78

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Bullets or books?
There in not necessarily a direct link between military speeding and education spending. But a general -conclusion can be drawn. The less spent on weapons the more scarce public foods will be available for education. Despite increased education budgets, poor countries have tended to devote even wore money to bullets than books in recent years.

Education spending as a percentage of GNP by reek vs military expenditure (1979)

Country by rank
Education as
% GNP
Military as
% GNP
Education per person (US$)
RICH WORLD      
Sweden
9.07
3.4
1164
Netherlands
7.07
3.4
850
Norway
7.60
3.3
657
Canada
7.66
1.0
715
Ireland
6.04
1.4
300
USA
6.41
0.2
676
Denmark
0.33
2.4
780
Luxembourg
6.02
.8
027
Belgium
9.00
3.3
600
Australia
0.01
2.4
505
Japan
0.77
.9
508
Finland
5.60
1.5
407
Austria
5.63
2.4
511
France
5.21
3.9
060
USSR
0.18
10.7
210
POOR WORLD
Qatar
11.89
21.2
2,667
Guyana
0.0
3.3
06
Cuba
8.62
0.6
122
Ivory Coast
8.56
1.1
07
Botswana
8.47
0.1
58
Congo
7.08
4.9
56
Morocco
6.42
0.8
40
Saudi Arabia
6.30
22.4
521
Mongolia
0.31
10.2
50
Mauritius
6.26
.2
08
Jordan
0.22
14.1
03
Kenya
6.10
5.0
23
Syria
5.70
20.1
00
Liberia
5.6
1.4
29
Malaysia
5.6
4.0
82

The War of the Words
The most important battle in development is the fight against illiteracy. Over the lest three decodes poor countries have greatly reduced the percentage of illiterates. By 1980 the figure woo 29% end it could fall to 26% by 1900, according to UNESCO. Nevertheless, the 800 million illiterates in 1980 could increase to over 980 million by the year 2000. The burden of illiteracy falls hardest on the poorest and most disadvantaged groups, landless rural peasants, women and slow dwellers.

The estimated comber of illiterates over 15 years, in 1980
(China, North
Korea and Vietnam are not included)
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[image, unknown]
Photo: UNESCO
The New Literacy
Led by Brazilian educator Poole Finite, adult literacy training is now beginning to focus on concerns of critical importance to peoples’ daily lives. Literacy becomes by-product of learning about health, hygiene, nutrition, human rights and community co-operation In this way literacy helps the poor gain self-respect confidence and control over their lives.
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Photo: Claude Sauvageot

...and the old Paper Chase
Education is seen as the key to prosperity and security. As employment possibilities shrink this key unlocks opportunities for fewer and fewer graduates.  But because the dream holds true for the few, the many still pursue it.

In most Third World nations the whole system is geared to chasing paper certificates, even though 60—80 per cent of all primary students will go no further. Based an the Western model, the little education they do get is academic, alienating and irrelevant to rural development needs of the poor majority.

Sources: World Military Social 1982. Literacy Targets in an International Strategy. UNESCO 1980. World Development Report, 1982 UNESCO Statistical Yearbook, 1981.

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