Rapid economic and social development in any community requires that residents be equipped with a wide range of vocational and social skills, yet in many small communities the attitude towards basic education may be characterized as casual. Home environments may not encourage study or intellectual enrichment; the only secondary education available to students is focused on academic curricula and offers few employment-oriented courses; students are 'streamed' into specific courses which limit their later educational options; curricula are designed neither to hold the students' interest nor to deal with their everyday needs; for some students, instruction may not be in their mother tongue, and community structures are insufficient to pass on supplementary instruction in traditional languages. Many people reach adulthood without having completed their secondary education or met the minimum requirements for obtaining well-paid jobs.
The education system may be blamed for poor education, but business is picking up the cost.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.