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The Education Challenges Facing Small Nation States in the Increasingly Competitive Global Economy of the Twenty-First Century

Mohammed Kazim Bacchus
Comparative Education
Vol. 44, No. 2, Special Issue (35): Education in Small States: Global Imperatives, Regional Initiatives and Local Dilemmas (May, 2008), pp. 127-145
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29727878
Page Count: 19
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The Education Challenges Facing Small Nation States in the Increasingly Competitive Global Economy of the Twenty-First Century
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Abstract

Publication of this piece is intended as a tribute to the late Professor M. Kazim Bacchus who passed away in March 2007. The paper provides a general discussion concerning the social and educational challenges faced by small nation states in an age characterised by globalisation. The analysis first identifies some of the basic features of small states such as their population size, the nature of their economies and their impact on educational development. It is argued that these societies need to prepare their populations better to enter the increasingly competitive globalised economy of the twenty-first century. A major challenge arises from the fact that while small states cannot do much about their size they can improve their development prospects by skilful planning. This calls for greater flexibility in the approach of small states to the development and utilisation of their own human resources. It is argued that small states need to develop in their population a high degree of flexibility through the skills and knowledge that they provide. Further the students should not have their initiative and creativity stifled through rote learning but should instead be encouraged to be enterprising, innovative and original in whatever they do and learn. These objectives should characterise any sound educational programme but they are even more important in small-scale societies.

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