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Partnership for progress. A special series of reports from the recent Washington policy conference on education in the advancement of economic development. This series is brought to you by the National Association of educational broadcasters. The conference was sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development the organizational outgrowth of the one time Marshall Plans organization for European Economic Cooperation. Now writer and producer for this series of reports is the and E.B. radio network's Washington analyst John F.. Lewis after the initial discussion of the conference of O ECD regarding educational needs for economic improvement in the advanced nations of the Western world attention was directed to the role we may play in helping to improve conditions in underdeveloped countries. The keynote to this phase of the policy discourse was Professor Arthur Lewis principal of the University College of the West Indies located in Kingston Jamaica. Dr. Lewis himself an African has a
long and distinguished record as an economic advisor to African and Asian countries. Here are some highlights of his address and address which several delegates described as a conference blockbuster. The cost of education in Africa is enormously high. This is because the ratio of teachers salaries to average national income enormously higher in Africa than it is in Asia or in Europe or the Americas. This in turn being due to the fact that in so far there has been education in Africa. It is concentrated on the lower rather than the higher levels of education and resulted in an extreme shortage of skill and that in a very high premium for scale merely to get primary education alone to Nigeria. Eight years of primary education without any secondary education or university technical
education would at present costs cost 4 percent of the national income of Nigeria. As against 1 percent in more advanced countries and it is therefore an enormous bill for these countries to have to bear. The cost of university education is also very high. Several writers of papers for this conference if they could but it is obviously cheaper to educate people in their own country and it is to educate them abroad. This certainly does not apply to university education in Africa. The car in the British African territories the cost because you've been taking both the cost of the universities and the cost of board and lodging and so on is about a thousand pounds a year. That is also the cost if you can the student African student in London and you take
the 400 pounds which the universities cost and five to six hundred pounds which it costs him to live in London. It's probably actually cheaper if you count all the resources because full is full of astute African student. The trend in London than it is for him to be trained in Abadan. Oh in action. And it is a very serious problem because it means that the countries which most need education are carrying the very highest costs. What the UN and what the richer countries can do is to have to pay the cost of education. And this is what I want to look at because one is constantly told that the amount of aid which the richer countries can give it a nation in Africa limited because the richer countries can contribute only the foreign exchange costs and the foreign exchange costs are relatively small. Well I wish we could kill this fallacy once and for all.
It is not a fallacy to which either the British or the French governments have ever subscribed. They have always been willing to meet local costs as well as foreign exchange costs. It is a United Nations and the United States which of come up with this doctrine since the end of the Second World War and it just plagued a lot of useful assistance that might have been given to the UN the developed world. My second comment about. Relationship between the underdeveloped and the advanced countries in this field of education is a wish that something could be done to reduce the degree of confusion which is being introduced into the underdeveloped countries by the confused state of education in the advanced countries themselves. The different patterns and the different series all take the argument which a number of these countries are now getting
involved in and secondary education comprehensive schools and grammar schools and boarding schools and all that kind of business all introduced from outside with no obvious meaning in the local context. But creating as much passion and confusion in Africa as it creates in Europe or North America in the university world take another thing. And in Africa the various parts of simply follow the educational systems of the countries that govern them. Then along comes the United States willing to make some contribution to the development of education in Africa. And one thing naturally to export to Africa something which is really very different. So Nigeria is suddenly offered a large sum of money if they would have a liberal arts college. Now one is a liberal arts college and how does this fit into the pattern of university
education which is already been built up in Nigeria. Some of my Japanese friends tell me and they may be unfair but they do tell me that it will take them 25 years to get the Japanese educational system right again. Since the reforms introduced by the Internet. Well it really is no laughing matter if you are at the receiving end you get involved in this kind of business. The question I wish to us is if this really means that education is being introduced into Africa in the same way that the Christian religion has been introduced into Africa by missionaries of various kinds who are just as much interested in fighting each other and in confusing the minds of the natives as they are in converting people. And now the question I wish to ask is it possible to have some kind of you can many can movement in education.
Yeah OK. Is it is it possible. And I would think a group like this is best suited to do it if it possible to prepare them. Studies manuals which explain to African education what these various things why they differ from each other what good reasons they have been and what different purposes that they shoot and so forth because all is confusion now in many of these fields because of this different advice which is being poured on the people from different angles. The point on which I would like to comment is a very difficult problem of the adaptation of educational content to the needs of underdeveloped countries and I let me give you an example from the training of doctors. My university college is affiliated to the University of London as are all of the British university colleges in Africa and we train doctors and we train doctors according to the London
syllabus. Now London is training men who will be general practitioners. Public health is done in England by people who take a puff postgraduate public health qualification to cut trees done in England people who take a post-graduate contra qualification no general practitioner needs to know any considerable amount about these things and they're all in the London medical costs there is no public health and no psychiatry. Now we train in the West Indies or Nigeria trained in their university college doctors the great bulk of whom go into the public medical service they become district medical offices and a large part of their work consists of public health work and a fair amount of it involves psychiatry and they have no training in this because all medical training is based upon the London system at a fairly simple problem. But it it to to is typical of a very large
range of problems which arise from simply transporting into these communities systems which make a lot of sense in their own environment but which need a great deal of adaptation if they are not to cause trouble in the new environment. All again sticking to Doctor how long a course is really necessary in the British system. You cannot become a doctor registered vetted practice until you are about 25 in West Africa twenty eight because you begin your education in the vernacular and you switch over from the vernacular to English and this adds three years to your education. So a man a Nigerian can be a doctor until he's twenty eight. He becomes a doctor and he is sent out into the district. And what did he do in the district. Well apart from some public health he treats people who have
malaria dysentery influenza arthritis venereal diseases. About half a dozen common diseases. If anything more serious comes his way you can't handle it. He has descended into a hospital. So the great bulk of his work is treating a very few common diseases. You could take a youngster of 20 and give him to you as medical training and send him into the district in Nigeria and he could recognize the diseases treat them. And instead of sending one doctor you could ten ten doctors to do this kind of job. What kind of training for the professions is necessary in these countries. Having regard to the urgency of multiplying professional people of all kinds as rapidly as possible. This is a matter to which really serious thought has to be given. Now whenever one discussion is problems of this kind one is given the
magic formula. Well naturally you will have to adapt to your own needs what comes to you from the Western world. Do you do magic words and like most magic words they mean nothing until you will have to adapt to your own needs Well what are the needs of underdeveloped countries underdeveloped countries don't know the needs because you can't know what your needs are not you know where you are going. And people of the underdeveloped countries don't know where they're going what they hope is that they're following in the footsteps of Europe and North America. And in that case it's Europe and North America that know where they're going. And Europe and North America who know the kinds of problems which would have to be traversed along the way to expect the people of the underdeveloped countries to understand where they are and where they're going when perhaps even people of North America don't understand where they are or where they've come from is really asking
rather a lot and to expect the people there also to do the adaptation adaptation is a process of invention invention is a very difficult complicated much practiced and studied in the underdeveloped countries. And to expect that it is in the underdeveloped countries of this difficult kind of invention is going to be made really is a bit sick. I think that this field of adaptation study invention research into educational needs can more effectively be done by the Western world for the under developed countries than it can be done by the people of the underdeveloped countries themselves. Obviously it has to be done both in and outside those countries both by the people of those countries and by the people of the Western world. But it is an enormous problem and it is a problem where at the moment virtually nothing is being done. So my third comment would be that a major contribution which could
be made is to put some money into research into the problems of education in the underdeveloped countries such where the observations of Professor Arthur Lewis principal of the University College of the West Indies and a prominent African economist from the Washington conference of the OEC day this is John F. Lewis reporting. You have been listening to one of a series of broadcasts covering highlights of the recent policy conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on education in economic development. Your narrator and producer for this 0 0 ECD partnership for progress conference was John affluence this program was produced and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end. The radio network.
Organization for economic cooperation and development
Partnership for progress, part 3
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National Association of Educational Broadcasters
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program continues to tell the story of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the context that surrounded it.
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This series, narrated by John F. Lewis, presents a report on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
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Narrator: Wilhelm, Ross, 1920-1983
Producer: Lewis, John F.
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Lewis, W. Arthur (William Arthur), 1915-1991
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-Sp.OECD3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:42
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Chicago: “Organization for economic cooperation and development; Partnership for progress, part 3,” 1961-11-14, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 9, 2023,
MLA: “Organization for economic cooperation and development; Partnership for progress, part 3.” 1961-11-14. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 9, 2023. <>.
APA: Organization for economic cooperation and development; Partnership for progress, part 3. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from