The 4th Education for Rural Transformation (ERT) International Symposium 2013 on
“Research-Based Evidence of Good Practice”
18th-20th November 2013
Significance and Reason
‘A great majority of the rural population still languishes in extreme poverty and deprivation, and education has failed them utterly by not being relevant and adequate. As would be expected, the major concern of the rural poor is being able to produce enough for themselves and their non-farming compatriots, and improve their living conditions in terms of better nutrition, health care, education and other social services’ (Endris, 2012, p.358).
A significant number of people in Asia, over half of the population, live in poverty in rural areas and with a low quality of life. Education is thought to be a vital tool to transform people’s quality of life. However, in many countries, education has failed to respond to the living conditions of the rural poor. The Education for Rural Transformation Symposiums were initiated by Institution of International Education, Stockholm University in order to encourage the development of education systems that could transform and improve the life of the rural poor. The first one was held in Stockholm, Sweden 2010, the second one in Chengdu, China 2011 and the third one in Vadodara, India 2012. These conferences brought together university researchers and the teachers and educators working in schools and education institutions in rural areas in countries such as China, India, Thailand among others. The in-depth comparative studies, both qualitative and quantitative, presented at these conferences provided information that is required if a successful rural transformation is to be achieved through education. The papers and discussions at these conferences all point to the necessity of re-examining the role of education and learning in rural areas as well as to re-evaluate present policies and priorities (both national and international) with regards to the perspectives of rural people.
Kasetsart University at Bangkaen Campus, Bangkok, Thailand