The May issue of the Unesco Courier we examined the outlook for and major trends in education; in this present issue we focus attention on possible strategies of action in this complex field.
Education is a fundamental human right and a key element in overall world development; yet despite the efforts and resources deployed, too many obstacles still hinder educational advance. To overcome these obstacles, Unesco is relentlessly pursuing the task of analysing the problems of education and implementing solutions on a world scale. The examples given throughout these pages of educational projects to which Unesco is bringing its active assistance and support provide some idea of the solid progress being achieved in a wide range of Member States.
The international network of "Associated Schools", in which children are encouraged to take their first steps along the path to peace and international understanding by learning to respect the identity of other peoples, in all their diversity, is but one reflection of Unesco's goal of linking education with life, and at every stage of life. And this strategy - creation of the strongest possible links between school and society so as to favour group and individual fulfillment - is an underlying theme of all our articles
Though it was touched upon in May, readers may be surprised that no mention is made here of the struggle against illiteracy. This is because it is our intention, in the near future, to draw up a comprehensive, detailed balance sheet of what has been accomplished in this vital area.
Our purpose in opening this issue with an examination of "lifelong education" is to stress the need for a thorough democratization of education.
The improvement of existing forms of teaching - the transmission of knowledge, professional training, arousal of general awareness - and the elimination of any form of discrimination against any particular group, necessary though these may be, are not enough. All educational possibilities, whether traditional or modern, formal or non-formal, existing or yet to be, must be increased and intensified.
Only by adopting this strategy of action, one which Unesco has followed since its inception, will it be possible to end the compartmentalization and eliminate the injustices of the world's education systems.
Edouard Glissant, Editor-in-Chief