education exacerbates the already unequal and discriminatory levels of education existing amongst the population of those countries.
It is the case that the well to do and those who by a quirk of fortune are able to afford it, will send their children overseas for education. There are then three groups of the population left in the country to fend themselves for their education, namely, those who can afford the private schools, those who can afford the state schools and those who cannot afford either and therefore simply do not send their children anywhere for education. It is most likely that the parents in the last group are also not educated enough to be able to educate their children at home. It is also most likely that the last group forms the majority of the population in a developing country.
What we see is that equity can easily become an access problem, or that the lack of access to education can create inequity. Thus we have a self-serving debilitating cycle that is common in developing countries and is extremely difficult to resolve.
Quality on the other hand is perceived as an unnecessary intrusion to education in developing countries. Given the previous discussion on access and equity, it is no wonder that quality is perceived in that way. The country and the people in developing countries have a much higher priority than quality of education, even though as many will know and appreciate, it is indeed the real survival aid they desperately need.
How then should developing countries be helped from themselves in this case?
This is indeed an extremely difficult and sensitive question. Claims of intellectual colonialism can be thrown at those who genuinely wish to help. It is no secret that much of the project aid from establishments like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and IMF have had problems reaching the intended recipients. The World Bank had admitted that up to 30% of their aid to Indonesia at least, disappeared before reaching the intended purposes.
N IDRUS TRANSFORMING QUALITY FOR DEVELOPMENT KEYNOTE PAPER 7QHES, 29-31 OCTOBER 2002, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA