RESOLUTION 477 (1971)[1]

on education and development


The Assembly,

1. Having examined the report of the Committee on Culture and Education on "Education and Development" (Doc. 2912) ;

2. Considering that the developing countries are characterised :

(i) in the economic sphere, by an essentially agricultural economy in which the pyramid of qualifications is seriously distorted, leading to a surplus of unskilled labour, a shortage of technicians and a large number of university graduates ;

(ii) in the social sphere, by a population explosion, accompanied by rising expectations as the peoples of the third world become increasingly aware of the widening gap which separates them from the industrialised nations ;

(iii) in the educational sphere, by school systems which are too often at variance with the country's culture and its economic needs, and which channel ambitions towards the universities while neglecting technical education ;

3. Considering, therefore, it is in the true interests of the developing countries to redefine the aims of education and to organise it in terms of development ;

4. Recognising that financial difficulties and the requirements of development are bound to be determining factors in the necessary planning of education in the developing countries, and that the best possible use must be made of available resources by defining priorities and by implementing programmes spread over a suitable period ;

5. Considering that, instead of sending teachers to the developing countries to give the same instruction as they would give in their own countries, the industrialised nations should help the developing countries to find types of education which are suited to their needs and can therefore be integrated in development programmes ;

6. Considering, further, that a new educational strategy capable of reconciling all the interests which come into play, requires that the developing countries pursue a policy for training skilled labour and medium-grade executives, together with a policy of encouraging vocational training,

7. Instructs its members, in debates in their national parliaments on aid to the developing countries, to insist on the following principles aimed at making education an integral part of the development process :

- Redefinition of the aims of education in the developing countries :

(i) giving priority to the utilitarian aspect of education ;

(ii) pursuing a policy of democratisation of education, while leaving room for fair selection ;

(iii) making the school a part of the local community ;

(iv) planning education by means of quantitative and selective programmes, particularly at university level ;

- Practical measures to improve education systems in the developing countries :

(i) contribution by the advanced countries towards the establishment and operation of study centres for the application of education to development, in particular by associating primary schools more closely with environmental activities ;

(ii) furtherance of the training of skilled labour and middle-level executive staff, by adapting such training to the realities of the socio-vocational situation ;

(iii) incentives for professional advancement and vocational training for workers which must be developed alongside the traditional route via school and university ;

(iv) guidance of universities towards development needs as regards the training of senior managerial staff and scientific research.


[1]. Assembly debate on 26 January 1971 (27th Sitting) (see Doc 2912, report of the Committee on Culture and Education)

Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 January 1971 (27th Sitting).