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Basic education refers to the whole range of educational activities taking place in various settings (formal, non formal and informal), that aim to meet basic learning needs. According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), basic education comprises primary education (first stage of basic education) and lower secondary education (second stage). In countries (developing countries in particular), Basic Education often includes also pre-primary education and/or adult literacy programs.
Universal basic education is regarded as a priority for developing countries and is the focus of the Education For All movement led by UNESCO. It is also included in the Millennium Development Goals as Goal number 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education by 2015. An extensive number of studies have proven its benefits on public health (lower spread of HIV/AIDS, better vaccination, prevention and medication of disease, better nutrition, lower maternal, infant and child mortality,...), demography (longer life expectancy, accelerated demographic transition through better birth control,...) and economy (increase of purchase power, increased productivity in traditional sectors, increased demand on service sectors,...). Other benefits, although more difficult to measure, include impact on democracy, human rights, governance and political stability through increasing understanding of non-violent ways to solve problems and mutual understanding between groups in conflict.
The Convention on the Rights of the Children (CRC), established by UNICEF in 1989, protects children's inalienable rights by setting standards for multiple aspects, one of which is education.
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Basic Education, Navajivan Publishing House Ahmedabad. 1955
- Bernhard Mann: The Pedagogical and Political Concepts of Mahatma Gandhi and Paulo Freire. In: Bernhard Claußen (Hrsg.) International Studies in Political Socialization and Political Education Bd. 8. Verlag Dr. Krämer. Hamburg 1995
- Walter Molt: Die Pädagogik von Mahatma Gandhi. In: Anton Hilckman (Hrsg.) Archiv für Vergleichende Kulturwissenschaft. Bd. 7. Verlag Anton Hain. Meisenheim am Glan. 1970
- B. Solanki: The Technique of Correlation in Basic Education. Navajivan Publishing House Ahmedabad. 1958
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