The book under review forms the substance of a seminar held in 1979. It was jointly organized by the Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi and International Institute of Educational Planning, Paris. The two papers, ‘Educational Disparities, World Politics and the New International Economic Order’ by Johann Galtung and ‘Inequalities in Education and Inequalities in Employment’ by Louis Emmerij were among the background papers circulated at the seminar. The seminar focussed on three main themes: Role of education in: a) Reduction of inequalities in income and wealth; b) Increase in employment; and c) Development of rural area.
The New International Economic Order (NIEO) was declared by the United Nations General Assembly at this sixth special session in May, 1974. It is based on the principles of ‘equality, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest and co-operation among all states’. There are material inequalities between the handful of the affluent nations in North America, Europe and Japan (which account for less than 18 per cent of the world population but more than 60 per cent of the world income) and scores of poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, which constitute the bulk of the humanity but enjoy very little of the earths bounty.
In order to firmly establish the NIEO, the declaration has suggested a four-fold programme of action: (a) Free access of the exports of developing countries’ manufactured goods to the developed countries’ markets; (b) Stablize commodity prices through the creation of a common fund subscribed by the developed countries; (c) It calls for a development aid target of one per cent of the Gross National Product (GNP) of the developed countries; and (d) A radical transformation in the economics of poor countries—a 25 per cent of the share of world industrial production by AD 2000. For the NIEO it is imperative that there be a universal recogni-tion of actual right that of the poor to share the world’s wealth. One of the conditions for the creation of economic order is a political order, in which there are no nuclear weapons and no nuclear terror, so that the developing countries are able to utilize their resources for the devlopment of their countries.
Generally the aid from the developed countries to the developing countries is not forthcoming readily as envisaged by the UN Resolution. So, Professor J.D. Sethi suggested an unimposed tax on a graduated basis on all these countries, whose per capita income is above a certain level and this money should be distributed towards meeting the basic needs of the poor nations like education and other minimum needs.
He also suggested that the developed countries except zero growth rate accept that part which is the result of increasing productivity through technical progress and allow a free flow at least of the educated persons across the borders.
The NIEO resolution did not spell out the role of education in bringing out the new order, but in 1976 UNESCO published a study ‘Moving Towards Change’. It dis¬cussed about the relationship between New International Order (NIO) and scientific, technological and cultural development. This study is about the exploration of the role of education in bringing about a New International Order (NIO) and not merely an economic order (NIEO). The role of education is mainly in two areas—as an agent of social change and in deve¬loping the human resources.
Dr. Malcolm S. Adiseshiah observed that education is a promoter of inequality and it is based on differential education between: ‘a) Rural and urban areas; (b) Boys and girls; (c) Younger and older generation; and (d) Rich and poor. In order to narrow the gap and to bring out equality in education Adiseshiah suggested that the educational policy in the New Order should aim at: a) Universal basic education system from age six till a person becomes educationally autonomous b) middle level and higher edu¬cation involving learning and training in culture, science and technology, the critical number being seven per cent of the people at the middle and two per cent at the higher level; and c) continuing adult education to all between ages 20 and 50 as well as compensatory education for illiterate adults.
J.P. Naik attributed the existing inequality between nations as having arisen essentially from the concepts of development and education that grew in the Western world. In order to overcome it, Naik suggested another model of development based on living in harmony with Nature, rather than on its exploitation place a premium on the quality of life rather than on mere consumerism and develop alternative technologies to reduce pollution, generate greater employment and cause less alienation. If it is carried out, the NIEO will be nearer, inequalities between and with¬in nations (as well as those between urban and rural areas) will decrease and corresponding educational changes will follow. It is high time that our planners, technocrats and administrators pay some attention to this suggestion.
For bringing out equality of opportunity Dr V.K.R.V. Rao suggested that the admissions to good schools and colleges may be thrown open to all irrespective of caste, creed, nationality or economic status and the provision of comprehensive scholarships for those whose economic status does not permit them to take advantage of the access to those institutions.
In the same vein, P.C. Chuder pointed out that without education, inequalities that we find in society will continue.
WHAT IS NEEDED
Regarding the role of education in increasing employment, the contributors felt the need of narrowing the gap between education and work. They pleaded for a work-based education and a combination of theoretical and practical subjects in the curriculum at all stages of education. There is a mismatch between the social demand for education and manpower planning. Therefore, a well coordinated effort is needed to match the educational programmes with man-power studies. It would help in reducing the magnitude of unemployment to some extent. Education is necessary in every field of economic order, for supplying personnel, scientists, technologists, technicians at different levels for increasing new productive forces. A.D.V. Des Inderaratna stressed on the shift from quantitative to qualitative expansion of facilities. Recently, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi mentioned that the new educational policy would be employment oriented.
In most of the countries, industrialization has been an urban phenomenon and it resulted in the migration of sizeable rural population to the urban areas. Secondly, due to the lack of proper facilities, agriculture has not been able to induce a large number of people to stay in the rural areas. So, to check this it is necessary that rural folk is given some training and encouragement in some cottage or small-scale industries along with their main occupation of agriculture. For this education has to be work-oriented and it should meet the needs and aspirations of the people. It should not alienate the young rural folk from their native land. There is also a need for providing infrastructural facilities in the rural areas. Another problem is the population growth. So, the curriculum at the various levels can play a crucial role in the development of attitudes and ideals that can adopt fertility patterns, which may be more in keeping with the development goals of the countries.
In short, this is a nice collection of papers, which can be read with profit by economists, policy-makers, planners, administrators and general readers. The papers though six years old still have relevance. The text of the U.N. Resolution on International Economic Order in the appendix would have increased the utility of the book. The editor and contributors deserve compliments for their endeavour. It is hoped that the book will receive a wide audience. The publisher has done a good job. The reviewer would like to see many more such publications from National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration.
P. C. Bansal