Unperceived relevance of formal education in rural communities
Lack of formal education in developing countries
Although education prepares children, young people and adults to deal practically with life situations, schooling beyond the sixth grade is seldom pursued in most rural villages of Third World countries, and residents continue to stand outside the mainstream of society, lacking the self-assurance that comes from achievement in education. Some families even consider elementary school unnecessary when children are needed to help their families on the farm. Part-time farming is a familiar task and other skills seem too time-consuming and difficult to learn. A sense of prevailing inadequacy stifles the urge to relate seriously to the modern world.
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.
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