Education can be considered as the structure and possibility for personal growth and development. The availability of education can be considered the base for a society to grow. Or in other words, enable people in a society to develop themselves and the society as a whole will grow. A ground rule for this mechanism to function is the need and/or desire from people to develop themselves. This need and/or desire needs to be backed up by the availability of necessary means to be able to follow education. In other words once people have access to income and motivation for education is established, people will/can educate themselves to improve their situation.
For a society to grow, this comes down to the availability of education and on the other hand reception of education. Reception and the desire to receive lies entirely in the hands of the potential recipients. The trigger to receive however, does not always. Modern societies have been able to create the need for learning, a drive to improve. At the same time institutions were created that enabled improvement by knowledge or simply said learning facilities, facilities for education. People in these societies felt a need to learn.
The motivation for learning can be explained by the pyramid of Maslow. The motivation to learn can also be explained by people wanting more from life. Education is the key to improve. Create circumstances that require people to be educated and people will grow a desire or need for knowledge. Create facilities where people can educate themselves and/or others and a healthy thirst for knowledge is established. Knowledge that is beneficial to a specific person, but in a broader sense this knowledge is also beneficial to the society to which that person belongs.
In a simple example: Old societies have created cities where people could live. These people needed to eat, so a method was needed to deliver food to the city. Somehow somebody would need to build a road for this. With the requirement of food, the need to learn how to make this road was established. More roads were needed and soon a facility followed where people could learn about the construction of roads. People could make money of building roads. Because this person had the possibility to improve his and other lives, motivation was established. In another scenario this same person maybe would have just learned to feed himself. Because of the education, now he can sell his knowledge and build roads while other people create complementary methods to complete the delivery of food. The society suggested a way to live and these possibilities enabled people to fulfill a function in this process. People could feel needed, a need to learn was established. A society took shape.
The present day situation for Sub-Saharan countries is not much different from what other societies went through. What is different is that these countries have no means, no way of producing income and motivation. The Sub-Saharan countries have societies that want to grow. And why not? These countries, much like any other country, want its people to have a better live and grow together. These countries, like any other country, deserve to grow. Numerous initiatives have been committed to this issue. Initiatives in the form of aid, food for education programs, the construction of schools and so on. Wonderful initiatives, but for these initiatives it is difficult to establish motivation among the recipients.
Need to learn
Education is available in the Saharan countries. Sudan, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Chad all have beautiful facilities. A lot of people benefit from these facilities. Many more people could benefit from these facilities. Many people unfortunately don’t reach these facilities. Perhaps due to a lack of motivation, a lack of resources, a lack of need. What if a source can be established that requires – a need for – knowledge? What if it would make a difference to have learned? What if opportunities were created and resources were available? What if people feel a need to learn?
In the year 2000 a gathered committee of countries in the world formulated a plan and set goals to improve this situation. Today in 2011 not many of these goals have been achieved. Many reasons for this are being brought to the table. In spite of the generous nature of these countries and the noble ideas in this plan, in short this plan has failed, at least till now.
It is our believe that it is not a question of money, billions have been spent. Neither is it a question of desire, many, many people are committed to these goals. It could be organization, it could be a matter of circumstances.