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.
Basic education includes both essential learning tools (such as literacy, oral expression, numeracy and problem solving) and the basic learning content (such as knowledge, skills, values and attitudes) required by human beings to be able to survive, to develop their full capacities, to live and work in dignity, to participated fully in development, to improve the quality of their lives, to make informed decisions and to continue learning.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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.