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Education and basic human needs (Inglês)

The potential benefits of education as a consumption good and source of pleasure cannot be separated from its utility in transmitting the skills necessary to help people meet their basic needs, such as health, adequate nutrition, safe drinking water, and housing, and for raising income. This paper conceptualizes basic education and examines its ability to deliver benefits, particularly to the poor. The three learning elements--skills to communicate, skills to improve the quality of life, and skills for production--which are acquired over a lifetime, could lead to material welfare, increased productivity, and competence to earn a living from self-employment. The paper suggests that the main obstacle to the expansion of such basic education is not its economic cost but the desire of the elite to keep their privileges, which are apt to be reinforced by existing administrative and social structures. To universalize basic education by the year 2000, the choice of a particular method, technique, structure, and technology should be based on the unique configuration of each country's socioeconomic circumstances and stage of development.

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