London: Commonwealth Secretariat, 2001. 100 p.
Commonwealth Case Studies in Education
Education systems are increasingly making changes in response to a rising tide of new expectations about the role of education in human development. Education is seen as a critical requirement for individuals to fulfil their potential, for communities to make positive changes in quality of life and for societies to improve their economic competitiveness. This rediscovery of education, as the key to human development, stems partly from the need to address growing inequalities within countries and between countries in an era of globalisation. The global era is characterised by rapid advances in technology and expansion of knowledge. It is therefore not unreasonable for political leaders to view education as a way of dealing with the opportunities and problems that stem from globalisation. In response, important changes are now taking place in the field of education. These changes concern opening up educational opportunities to all citizens, developing more flexible and responsive programmes, improving the relevance and quality of education content, and enhancing the organisation and management of education systems. Many countries are making progress in these areas of concern, but there is an urgent need to share success stories and lessons learned from these efforts so that thev can be replicatedwhere possible.There is a new emphasis on partnership as a key guiding principle governing the ways in which countries work with international bodies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector in the field of education. There is also a new realisation that countries have the main responsibility to provide appropriate education and training opportunities for all their citizens. This requires leadership and commitment as well as a wide range of budgetary and other resources, but many countries cannot achieve this by themselves. Partnership then becomes critical for involving NGOs, extemal agencies and the private sector in successful design and implementation of plans.Partnership has always been one of the cardinal principles through which the Commonwealth operates as a voluntary association of countries sharing a common set of values and beliefs. In this regard the Commonwealth's work in education has a strong tradition of learning from each other. This new series on Case Studies in Education is the latest vehicle through which the Education Department continues to promote valuable exchange of experiences and good practice in the field of education. It is a series of key papers dealing mainly with innovations and challenges in education. The emphasis is on dissemination of the innovation or challenge in a timely and brief manner, but also in a focused way that provides description as well as analysis. This will make the case studies useful for those wishing to replicate the innovation or to have a better understanding of how a challenge can be tackled. It is the hope of the Commonwealth Secretariat that these case studies will be of benefit to countries, agencies and organisations within the Commonwealth and beyond. The series therefore marks an important Commonwealth contribution to the international partnership for advancing education and human development. Copyright Commonwealth Secretariat.
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