The shortage of suitable textbooks is felt at all levels of education, especially in primary schools, and is a serious impediment to educational progress. In some developing countries there are few teachers who are qualified to write textbooks even though they are experienced in teaching their own subjects. In addition, there are difficulties arising from the shortage of paper and up-to-date printing facilities. In some cases, textbooks are expensive and parents cannot afford to buy them. Lack of adequate planning has been a major contributor to some of these problems. Government policies in certain matters (for example, the language of instruction in schools; copyright; taxes and duty on imports of paper, printing materials, printing equipment and books; export controls; internal trade; bank loans; operations within the country of foreign publishers and printers) are vitally important to the planning and operations of textbook publishing organizations (TPOs). In cases where such policy matters have not been taken fully into account in the planning and operation of TPOs, changes to assist in the success of textbook publishing, for which there were pressing needs, have often not been made, or sometimes apparently not even considered, by governments.
In 1980 a random survey of 15 rural primary schools in a small, anglophone African country established that the average availability of textbooks for the pupils in grades one through six was 11 textbooks per 1,000 students.
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.
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