Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 2001

Education and Development for All - myths or realities?
- Reflections on the African experience

Lecturer: Professor Harold D. Herman,
University of Western Cape, South Africa
Dates: 6. - 10. August 2001

Course description
The key objective of this course is to critically analyze the debates in the North (Europe) and South (Africa) on the education and economic development in developing countries since the "Education for All" declaration after the Jomtien World Conference in Thailand in 1990. Three key issues in these debates are discussed using the experiences in sub-Saharan Africa as a platform for the analysis of economic and educational policy development over the past decade.

The course tries to interpret the dominant neo-liberal discourse on educational policies in developed and developing countries, highlighting global competitiveness and the marketisation of education. The three aspects of education and economies policy in Africa identified for discussion are:

The course is concluded with the discussion of a series of statements as to how economic and educational policies can contribute to education for all in poorer countries in the new millennium.

Basic readings

Outline of lectures

Lecture 1 and 2:
These lectures will be an overview and introduction to theories on education and development. The "Education for All" declaration at the Jomtien World Bank Conference of 1990 is described and explanations sought as to why it has had limited success over the past decade in poverty alleviation and the provision of basic education. Critical theory will be used to analyze why in the African context poverty, the debt crisis and lack of educational opportunity has prevailed while in the economies of Western Europe, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. are flourishing.

Books prescribed:

Lecture 3 and 4:
These two lectures are based on recent analyses on the state, neo-liberal education reform, markets, standards and inequality in education. It looks at education in relation to the global economy and the labour market and what this means for developing world.

Books prescribed:

Lecture 5 and 6:
These two lectures will focus on "Education for All" in Europe and Africa. It describes the context in which universal primary education and basic education have been considered in Africa since 1990 and dilemmas confronted in implementation. The lectures describe the World Bank policies for sub-Saharan Africa and tries to answer the question - Whose Education for All? It also shows how language in education policies impact on educational performance and success in African countries.

Books prescribed:

Lecture 7 and 8:
These two lectures focus on higher education reforms in comparative perspective. Key considerations are massification, internationalization and globalization of Higher Education in Europe and Africa. These emerging trends create dilemmas for higher education in Africa. The crisis in universities in Africa in the past decade are discussed and solutions for the new millennium considered.

Books prescribed:

Lecture 9 and 10:
These two lectures give an overview of the theoretical issues and practical realities of education and development for all over the past decade. It formulates a number of proposals to be considered for the improvement of education in the developing world in respect of a global action plan, debt reduction and basic education investments, increased and improved aid for basic education, reform of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, as well as national policy reforms for education for all.

Books prescribed:

Apart from the then books already listed, the following are recommended:

Journal articles on education and development, globalization in the post-1990`s, editions of:

The lecturer
Harold Herman is the current Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of the Western Cape, and Professor of Comparative and International Education. (Dean 1988 -1990 and 1997 - ) and Professor since 1983. He is the founding President of the Southern African Comparative and History of Education Society (SACHES) and past Vice-President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES).

He teaches in the areas of Comparative and International Education, Sociology of Education, Development Education, and Education Management and Administration. His research interests include: Education reform in Africa, Evaluation, Access to higher education. He has developed numerous linkages with overseas universities. He directs a number of externally funded projects for higher degrees training in African countries such as Namibia, Lesotho, Eritrea and Ghana. He has been a consultant on education for numerous overseas agencies such as USAID. Among his publications are In search of Liberation and Education (1992).