Adapting education to the challenges of contemporary society Enriching relevant educational opportunities Improving accountability in education Relevant education curricula
Education should help societies perpetuate and renew themselves. In view of their rapid evolution and growing complexity, in view of the ever more rapid changes in and the fragmentation of knowledge and its applications, education must preserve the humanistic dimension of real development and the values of tolerance, solidarity, respect and openness to others; stress should be laid on the intercultural context of education in all its forms. The act of educating, however, cannot be reduced to setting out precepts applicable in the societies of the past. It is with an eye to tomorrow's world and its different cultures that the subject-matter and methods of an internationally oriented humanistic education should be revised.
UNESCO's programme includes the following elements: improvement of the content and process of basic educational programmes; improvement of the quality of primary school teachers, literacy workers and other basic education personnel; improvement of the knowledge base concerning the various factors affecting learning in basic education.
It is in the area of science and technology and in higher education that education must be firmly turned to face the future. It is not merely a matter of giving more importance to scientific and technical education but rather of ensuring that subject-matter and curricula keep pace with progress in those fields.
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.