School leavers and rural development : case studies from Sarawak and Papua New Guinea
Thesis or dissertation
- © 1979 Peter Eaton. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
This thesis has its origins during a period from 1964 to 1969 when I was the headmaster of a rural secondary school in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Initially my students experienced little difficulty in finding work when they left school, but by the end of my time there the situation had changed drastically. Many school leavers were unable to find work in the modern wage-paying sectors of the economy and had little alternative but to return to their home villages and long-houses. Follow-up studies showed these school leavers as being either unemployed or engaged in farming, but there was generally little reliable information about their activities. It seemed to me of vital importance to find out more about the extent of their participation in village agriculture and to discover whether they were able to use their education to make changes and improvements. If we were now educating the majority of our students for life in the village it was important to determine if this education was having a positive or negative effect. If the latter was the case, the next stage was to consider the possible changes that might be made, either in the school system itself or in rural development policies.
My initial studies in Sarawak were followed, in 1972, by a period of research at the Centre for South East Asian Studies at the University of Hull. During this time I also returned to Sarawak and carried out further field studies among school.leavers in the Bau and Baram districts. Since then I have been concerned with education and training for rural development in Papua New Guinea. This newly independent country is facing similar problems to Sarawak, although at the time of my research it was mainly the primary school leavers who were experiencing difficulty in finding employment.
Sarawak and Papua New Guinea have formed the two case studies on which my thesis is based, but inevitably the study of the relationship between education and rural development has extended over a wide area. It has involved the examination of different methods used to determine the economic returns to education, also the factors which lead to change and agricultural innovations. I have also investigated possible solutions to the school leaver problem. In many cases these involve a closer integration of the education system with development programmes; in my conclusion I have suggested some methods by which this might be achieved.
- Department of Education, The University of Hull
- Jaspan, M. A.; Hill, Lewis G.
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- 13 MB