30 years ago

5th March 2004 at 00:00
Forget "education, education, education" or arguments linking levels of education with a country's economic success. This is a damaging myth, according to one anonymous Scottish teacher writing on the front page of The TES Scotland of March 8, 1974: There is no evidence, empirical or otherwise, which can establish a correlation between our system of education and the general well-being of our society. We have much to learn here from the underdeveloped world.

There it has come to be recognised that education does not cause development and, more, is not a necessary condition.

Development experts today generally agree that the wrong type of education or even too much of the right type can both be counter-productive. In practice, successful countries are big spenders on education because this is a luxury they can afford. There is no historical evidence to suggest that countries are successful as a result of heavy investment in education.

The myth of education as an essential of development is still almost universally accepted within our own country and did great mischief in the Third World until exposed.

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