In many developing countries with low agriculture productivity and economic poverty in rural areas, education systems must be planned to meet the needs of rural people and their economic and social development on many fronts simultaneously.
Moreover, in these countries, very few of the highly skilled and trainer man power find opportunities to use their skills and abilities if no employment is available for such expertise. The result is a great waste of trained human resources, a drain on the economy of the country and an unnecessary source of socio-political tension.
There have been several approaches to the question of manpower planning for the implementation of national, regional (provincial), district (country) and village rural development plans.
These may be considered as:
- Some educational analysts believe that the demand for educational manpower should be increased by creating new job opportunity in order to absorb the out put of the education systems in the form of trained graduates.
- A second approach has been that education should be adapted to job or role requirements, since the shortage of skills is most frequently seen in science, technology, agronomy, engineering and management. Here, the establishment of vocational, ability tests, a reduction in unemployment will follow. technical schools and also a change in the content of education to relate the skills taught to jobs is suggested.
- There are analysts who propose that limiting access certain kinds and levels of education and the selection of pupils based on assessment of ability should be the basis of decreasing or stabilizing school enrolment. These analysis believe unemployment to be the result of undue expansion in the education and thus recommend â€˜’rationing” education.
- Other educational analysts propose a change in the pattern of demand for education as a solution to reduce unemployment among school leavers. By transferring some schooling costs to pupils, reducing the gap in earning differentials between groups with different educational attainments and allowing promotions on job- related
Implementation of any of the above educational approaches to manpower planning and human resource development demands varying degrees of cooperation from the public and private sectors of the economy, from non- educational sectors, ministers of labor, regional employment offices, and central planning organizations, in relation to political considerations of the government of each developing nation.
There are many factors and issues of importance to be considered when attempts are made to improve the rural education system in developing countries. These are:
1. Equal education opportunities for all.
2. Proper location of education facilities at the lower levels of education.
3. A sincerer endeavor to equalize the chances of achievement.
4. A review of present procedures of selection in education.
This factor, in terms of the socio-economic back ground of a student’s family, influences a student’s achievements considerably.
- Use of income-related subsides and fees can be effective in equalizing education opportunities.
- Provision of facilities for the education of adults in the labor force to improve their skills and education through full- time or part-time programs.
- To study how equalization of educational opportunities influences and relates to greater social mobility.
Taking in to account equal chances and access of rural people to education at different levels to meet their needs, the following points deserve special attention:
1. The educational and training objectives and the performance standards of formal and informal education should be well defined and should be specific in terms of rural development. In this are included minimum levels of repeat a grade.
2. Identifying factors which influence the efficiency of the educational system. Included in this category are factors such as dropout, repeater rate, systems of promotion, presence or absence of social tension, the distance students have to travel to school, testing systems, the language of testing, methods of teaching (good or mediocre), poor health of students and inability to meet educational expenses. It is also important to asses the causes of inefficiency in the social and educational conditions and to design cost- effective measures to cope with them.
3. The level of training and pay given to teachers has important educational and financial implications. large classes at the middle levels, short duration teacher training courses, supported by in- service training , better use of locally based primary teacher training colleges, all serve o reduce costs, improve efficiency and ensure more efficient use of resources without loss of quality in teaching and educational standards. Such measures as adopting school calendars to local economic activities, flexible promotion systems, combined with multi-grade teaching and also teaching in national languages, all improve attendance, use of resources, and children’s attitudes towards education and schooling.
- To lower costs, teachers and students may help to prepare some of the teaching materials, equipments and facilities. Also, a central or mobile unit can be used to keep manufactured apparatus in one place while serving several schools.
- Use of mass media, such as television and radio, satellites (India is using it for rural education) should be based on careful cost production and distribution analysis a well as the availability of spare parts. The cost per head of production for the mass media changes drastically as the size of the student body increase.
- In countries where broadcasting facilities are easily available for the rural people, the involvement of teachers with the work of broadcasting in all phases of broadcasting programs ensure greater teacher cooperation, better teaching techniques and improved subject matter for classes
- Better nutrition can increase education efficiency. Food programs for schools, children and pregnant mothers and ease of access of nitration information and education, plus simple, and easy to read material for all age groups in all education institutions can have a far-reaching impact on educational investment for rural people in particular rural women.
- Change in the structure of education systems to maximize both efficiency and educational opportunities. The traditional 6 years primary, 3 years of lower and 3 years of upper secondary school (6-3-3) can be modified to 4-4-4 years or 4-2-2-4 years, each serving different needs for schooling, covering a larger, population of entry age group children and economizing on costs.
- Education work land may be once established and operating close articulation between formal. Non formal and even informal systems of education (see chapter 11)
- Basic education programs once established and operating effectively must be followed by vocational training in the form of short courses at vocational schools or rural training centers, or, as apprenticeships extension work cooperatives on or off the job training youth work groups, mass communication media and mobile training units in both urban and rural areas. These informal educational approaches may be more cost effective than replication of formal education and training institutions at the lower and upper secondary levels.
In developing countries, implementation of rural development programs must be coordinated with the background and requirements of the following groups of people participating in its different phases. These are
- High level national or regional policy markers
- National or regional planners who are usually sectoral professional people with very limited understanding of the relations of various sectors of rural development and should be given orientation courses or comprehensive simple information on rural development in its many facets
- Operators, agents, or implementers like field men, project leaders and directors who will be working in local regional and national levels, but are not concerned with formulating policies or planning, and are concerned with implementing rural development according to the operations schedule. Their levels of activity may be described as
- Management and project leaders working at regional provincial and national levels
- Supervisory capacity, where supervision is in the form of technical specialists, then project supervisors and project managers will need to be trained. The success of all projects undertaken depends on these groups of people must have the following attributes and qualifications
i. Leadership ability
ii. Some specialized knowledge of one or more subjects related to rural development such as agriculture planning management etc
- An understanding of all other main topics or subjects relevant rural development such as health, nutrition, extension education etc.
- Ability to understand and communicate with rural people
- Field or local level. Here extension agents field men field workers change agents in a system of hierarchy provide the necessary base and contact points with rural people, rural households and farmers at the lowest levels.
- The rural people they include artisans craftsmen, local technicians, farmers, rural women, rural educated young people, religious leaders, traditional leaders and the general mass of rural inhabitants
At present universities in many developing countries do not meet the increasing demand for agronomists, development planning specialists in certain fields to implement rural development programs together with some other inadequacies and also experiences gained.
- Training was limited largely to agriculture
- The task of communicating with the rural people was normally confined o one government Agency
- Inability to identify, to select and to train efficient and effective rural leaders for the different social strata of the rural community
- the ability of the higher academic institutions to train capable managers and supervisors for rural development project
- It has been show that on-the â€“job training is more effective and less costly than pre-employment training. Also in the rural areas of some developing countries, facilities are not available for on-the-job training so rural youth migrate to the towns and the area is depleted of potential entrepreneur
- Lack of coordination between on-the-job training facilities and formal and informal education facilities
- Employers putting emphasis on, and giving preference to graduates from formal education schools and colleges over vocational skill graduates.
- Government wage structures have further aggravated this situation in favor of academic graduates.
- Education of women is not oriented towards efficient home making, home economics subject matter, nutrition, child care, extension work rather than on medicine, dentistry, teaching professions, etc.
Normally, manpower with higher and intermediate level skills for rural development can not trained in the universities of most developing countries. But for adolescents and youth, these countries need a system of informal education, which so far has proved costly for educated persons and usable only if self-employed. However, the integration of an informal element in to the formal education system, for lout-of-school youth, and utilizing the same facilities and personnel on a year-round basis, seems to be the quickest and least costly system of education for rural development
Before examining the objectives of education and training, and being informed of some of the inadequacies in the structure of formal and informal education for rural development in the developing countries let us first examine the levels of education.
- Learning is a lifetime process, that is, continuous learning. Here a learner may start at any age and work at his own pace up to a level compatible with his abilities. This types of learning would generally include such skills as health care, family planning, farming, operating small industries functional literacy, home improvement and the like
- Instruction in skills needed for rural development and improvement of immediate environment
- Providing professional training, technical and specialized through primary and secondary centers of learning, such as universities and colleges.
In the developing countries the following structure of educational systems for implementation of rural development work-experience in rural sectors
- Formal education provides the knowledge and skills fore understanding and leadership, supplemented by knowledge and work-experience in rural sector.
- Secondary level education. At this level, the educational system can be a flexible system to allow for pre-vocational training that will provide skills for people to work in the rural sector. Instruction and training in agricultural play an important role at this level. The establishment of technical schools provides enough skilled labor for small scale rural industries and related farming needs.
- Primary level. This is the lowest level and must cover the majority of the masses of rural people. Farmers and rural leaders should also be given training in leadership and to develop their abilities.
Experience shows that the most suitable approach for teaching rural development principles and practices is the problem- solving approach with the simple, specific problems experienced by rural people, as against the more comprehensive training approach. Adult education should besides increasing the literacy level of rural people, promote self-reliance and participation in the decision making process at the village or rural area level. These trainings include group training sessions, demonstration sessions and exercises, audio-visual training sessions, face-to-face communications of the extension agent with rural people, distribution of information in the form of leaflets, brochures, pamphlets and group meetings, etc
Frequently, a major reason for low productivity and slow socioeconomic development in developing countries, is low participation in mass education in spite of the fact hat many developing nations are spending more one education than other sectors of the economy and services. For example, in 62 developing countries studied, the median spending of a total government expenditure on education is 18 percent and the number of countries spending over 20 percent is increasing. At the same time, the median expenditure on the education is only about 4 percent of the Gross national product (GNP) but there are increasing numbers of countries with 5 percent of median GNP expenditure, on education. In spite of the expenditure only 34 percent of total primary school age children are enrolled in 25 of the poorest countries and in the more advanced developing countries about 25 percent of the same age group do not go to school. The UNESCO projected estimates for school enrolment up to 1985 are shown in Table 20-1. It forecasts that school enrolment in the developing nations will have increased from 260 million in 1975 to 350 million in 1985.
UNESCO’s school Enrollment Projections in Developing Countries (Million)
|Total 5 to 14 in all developing countries
|Out of school
The overall literacy of these countries during the 1960’s rose from 41 percent to 50 percent, while the number of illiterates in the age group above 15 increased from 201 million to 756 million that is about 50 percent of their population. The increase in the out-of-school group by 1985 is likely to produce a total of 375 million illiterates in the developing countries. As it stands, a number of developing countries are now approaching the conditions the limits of their financial capability without having achieved even a minimum education for the majority of their population.
In conclusion, enormous number of rural development plans, programs, projects and schemes have been put forth by the well-intended experts and specialists in the last few decades but moral and humanitarian aspects of improving the conditions of the rural poor, of the landless and of the jobless, which lie at the very heart of development process have been largely ignored. This is because such issue affects the sponsors, the experts and the implementers in both the developed and developing countries. Some of the core problems are (6a).
- The process of rural development if sincerely undertaken must involve the rural people and lead to a world condition in which people in diverse regions with different resources and cultures can interact as equals, rather one in which some are always dependent on charitable actins and programs organized by others.
- Participation should not be viewed as involving rural people in a set of preconceived programs and procedures, rather a continuous process of consultation to derive benefits from the project. Here, establishment of an unbiased and compassionate mechanism of consultation becomes quite essential.
- Participation without community organization, creation and strengthening of institutions to encourage and protect the participants and also implement decisions is no more than an empty word.
- Learning of access to knowledge and information is a perquisite of an effective participation. This is not the same as training the rural people ti participate in a particular project and carry out a certain set of tasks and orders. Because, for the vast majority of human beings, whether in rural or urban areas, training o carry out orders without accompanying spiritual and intellectual development consolidates the present division between the modern and traditional sectors.
- At the very heart of the development process also lies the welfare of the human beings, rather than abstract indicators of social and economic progress which may be convenient for planners and planning. It is the organization of production improvement of channel of marketing and distribution, sound adaptation of technology education of human resources according to social needs and aspirations, the strengthening of the family, of the social structures, especially those of the decision making, the enrichment of culture, and serious improvement of basic services such as education, health etc
- At present intervention in many of these processes of development in the world is either frustrating or virtually impossible. Since the development of village or a rural area can not be considered in isolation from the macro conditions of the entire world, we cab not expect the rural people to shoulder the whole task of development and to disregard the many restrictions imposed by world conditions. Because justice and peace are prerequisites of material well-being then no amount of village effort can eliminate the restrictions imposed by a world at war and also by most prevalent of social injustice
- At the core of development also lies a process of universal education; both material and spiritual. This education should gradually involve every inhabitant of the region, independent of creed or social position. Far from being an academic pursuit, it must become a dynamic process of the population learning about its own path of development, the process of the individual, family and community life, their past roots, their nature, and their present and future directions. The basic purpose of universal education is to educate, within the population, the human resources necessary for brining about change, a sufficient number of men and women with a variety of skills and capabilities who are aware of the great difficulties of the task that lies before them, but who are determined to lead the community through successive stages of development, despite the great turbulence of this age of transition
Implementation of any of the above educational approaches to manpower planning and human resource development demands varying degrees of cooperation from the public and private sectors of the economy, from non- educational sectors, ministers of labor, regional employment offices, and central planning organizations, in relation to political considerations of the government of each developing nation
The level of training and pay given to teachers has important educational and financial implications. large classes at the middle levels, short duration teacher training courses, supported by in- service training , better use of locally based primary teacher training colleges, all serve o reduce costs, improve efficiency and ensure more efficient use of resources without loss of quality in teaching and educational standards.
Experience shows that the most suitable approach for teaching rural development principles and practices is the problem- solving approach with the simple, specific problems experienced by rural people, as against the more comprehensive training approach.
For the vast majority of human beings, whether in rural or urban areas, training o carry out orders without accompanying spiritual and intellectual development consolidates the present division between the modern and traditional sectors.
~~ These are the notes from my Rural Development class @ UoM ~~