Fundamental Education, Common Ground for All Peoples: Report of a Special Committee to the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, 1946

Fundamental Education, Common Ground for All Peoples: Report of a Special Committee to the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, 1946

Fundamental Education, Common Ground for All Peoples: Report of a Special Committee to the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, 1946

Fundamental Education, Common Ground for All Peoples: Report of a Special Committee to the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, 1946

Excerpt

This volume, a first fruit of the labours of the Education Section of the Preparatory Commission's Secretariat, was prepared for the First Session of the General Conference (November-December 1946) in explanation of the proposed plan of work in the field of Fundamental Education. Inevitable printing delays prevented its being submitted in full to the Delegates, but the first and final chapters were issued as a separate pamphlet for the Conference, with an introductory statement covering the contents as a whole.

The volume is now presented to a wider public, not as a considered treatise on the question, but as a working document. It focuses attention upon a world movement of increasing magnitude, in relation to which Unesco may perform a number of helpful functions. This movement frankly faces the existence of immense numbers of people who lack the most elementary means of participating in the life of the modern world. Such a situation is not only a threat to peace and security, none the less real because indirect, but also a barrier and a challenge to science and culture. Unesco has good reason, therefore, to take Fundamental Education as one of its primary fields of interest.

Abraham Lincoln, in his famous metaphor of the house divided against itself, gave it as his judgment that a nation half slave and half free could not stand. The same may well be true of the world. Where half the people of the world are denied the elementary freedom which consists in the ability to read and write, there lacks something of the basic unity and basic justice which the United Nations are pledged together to further. Fundamental Education is only part of the wider and fuller human understanding to which Unesco is dedicated, but it is an essential part.

JULIAN HUXLEY, Director General.

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