Analysis Problems in Implementing of Educational Goals:
Status in Developing Countries
In the context of existing strategies, development is understood as a process aimed at improving the quality of human life in terms of the level of income and consumption, quality of diet, medical care, educational services, etc. through economic growth. The ultimate goal of development should be steady growth of welfare of everyone and of public weal. Consequently, changed strategies require a change in priorities and goals of civilization development, i.e. conditions for social and economic growth and higher life standards whereby environmental and social standards are fully utilized. It is obvious that social (global) development is possible only within peaceful coexistence and cooperation of countries with various social, economic and political systems.
The gap between developed and developing countries is regrettably wide in terms of pro capita income, economic growth rate and social progress, which has adverse effects on international peace and security.
It is obvious that successful implementation of developing countries’ national development plans and programs is hardly possible without foreign financial aid. With a view to support developing countries’ efforts, the UN International Development Strategy for the Second Development Decade fixed a target indicator of the official development assistance (ODA) in the amount of 0.7% of a developed economy’s GNP.
Four International Development Strategies have been adopted since 1961, where member state governments reaffirmed their commitment to efficient cooperation for the purpose of development and undertook to provide all-round support and assistance to developing countries. It should be stressed that the Strategies gave a lot of attention to the development of human potential in developing countries, setting the following priorities:
- ·social policy in the context of efforts to fight illiteracy, poverty, diseases;
- ·support from specialized international institutions in terms of training of domestic specialists in such spheres as education, medical care, etc;
- ·elaboration and implementation of educational programs, improved quality of education at all levels;
- ·reduction of illiteracy by 50%.
The 2000 UNESCO’s Strategy currently in force names education as the key to sustainable development, peace and stability both within and between countries, and the states reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the educational goals by 2015. The Strategy reaffirmed the need for basic education, equal access to educational programs at all levels for young people and adults, men and women.
The Education for Everyone strategy has goals that are common with those set forth in the Millennium Development Goals:
- ·universal primary education;
- ·promoting equality of men and women and expanding the rights and opportunities for women, with one of the objectives being elimination of gender inequality in primary and secondary education, and by 2015 at all levels of education.
So, over a few decades global community has declared its commitment to achieve priority goals in the sphere of education. And in practice? Are the goals being efficiently achieved? Let us look at the situation from the point of view of official development assistance.
Within the ODA, funds provided by donor countries for educational purposes are accumulated within respective Education Sector to be subsequently sent to recipient countries to build an educational infrastructure, render educational services, make investments, etc.
As is known, one of the essential development objectives is elimination of illiteracy. Global community has set a goal to reduce illiteracy by 50%, which implies funding of programs for mostly primary school education. However, OECD statistics of the allocation of funds from the Education Sector gives a different view. Over years, eight to eighteen per cent of the total contributions to the sector have been allocated to primary education programs, while programs of higher education have received from 39 to 89 per cent of the funds. Of course, there is expensive training of national skilled labour, and yet the gap between the funds allocated to primary and to higher education is quite big. There is a mismatch between the declared goals and their practical implementation.
Insufficient financing of basic education in the context of the ODA is supported by UNESCO statistics, made available to the Human Development Report Office (HDRO). Despite the obvious improvement reflected in the increased developing countries’ averages, such as the primary, secondary and higher education coverage ratios, adult literacy rate, there are countries whose respective averages are still depressingly low, namely Kenya, Mali, Chad, Niger and some others, where the coverage is from 32 to 42 per cent, and the literacy rate is from 26 to 32 per cent.
Surely, beside the imperfect financial mechanisms there are problems inside the developing countries:
- ·national customs and traditions fixing gender inequality;
- · significant disparity between urban and rural areas in terms of educational infrastructure, etc.
As a consequence, not every primary school student finishes primary school. The worst most difficult countries in this respect are the South and West Asian states (survival rate to the last grade of primary education 60 to 75%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (survival rate below 50%). The World Bank forecast says that the school survival rate in countries of the East- and Southeast Asia, Latin America, where the primary enrollment ratio is close to 100%, is more than 90%.
UN institutions make significant efforts towards promotion of development. The most important UN functions are accountability for goal achievement, drawing attention of the global community to the development issues, and control over implementation of programs. UNESCO is active and persistent in promoting basic education and directly involved in numerous projects for cultural, scientific and technological development. Thanks to this work we see notable improvement in the quality of education at all levels, including qualifications of teachers who were given special training, in the expected time of schooling, progress has been made in terms of gender equity that expressed itself, inter alia, in an increase in the girls primary education coverage ratio and the leveling of the respective boys to girls ratio.
To draw the line, it should be noted that despite the challenges on the way to achieving priority goals in the sphere of education by 2015, the achievements are notable. In our view, the system of the ODA funds allocation should be improved in regard of the educational levels, private capital should be attracted to a greater extent with extrinsic motivation, and efficient control should be exercised over the adequacy of assistance allocation.