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Education for planning : the special circumstances in low income countries Viloria, Leandro A.

Abstract

This study deals with the problem of seeking logical strategies for establishing educational programs on community planning in various categories of poor countries. Its thesis is that education for community planning in poor countries, to be effective, must relate to the development process at all levels of government and to the educational system. Two assumptions have been made: (1) Each of the poor countries must evolve its own program of manpower education, in which community planning education is but a part, in the light of its social and economic goals; and (2) Education for community planning in a poor country must interlock with its social and economic planning process. Two steps have been employed to prove or disprove this thesis. Initially, a set of logical strategies for establishing an educational system in poor countries has been formulated. Three levels of development have been considered and an appropriate set of strategies have been designed for each. Then this construct has been tested through two case studies. The case studies cover Ghana and Indonesia. In Ghana, an attempt is being made to produce local planning assistants. On the other hand, a professional program with a focus on regional planning has been established in Indonesia. Both programs are pioneering efforts. Both programs have been initiated under United Nations technical assistance. Both programs have been aided by a North American university; Ghana by the University of British Columbia and Indonesia by Harvard University. Considering the level of development of both countries, this study finds both programs as too ambitious and therefore too premature. Based on this study's set of logical strategies, Ghana and Indonesia should have concentrated on the education of planning assistants. In the meantime, the positions of professional planners should be filled by expatriate personnel. At the same time, selected nationals should be sent abroad for professional education. With a firm foundation of a planning assistants course, its extension towards professional education could proceed in a logical manner as the country's level of development improves. To poor countries contemplating to establish planning educational systems, this study offers a set of guidelines. These guidelines consist of two parts. The first part provides a framework for approaching the formulation of an educational program on a comprehensive basis. The second part relates how the comprehensive approach may be realized. These guideline, hopefully, will be refined as others would conduct further studies on the experiences of the rest of the countries which have inaugurated planning educational programs.

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