Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs


Bonnie Minkus

Publication Date



This research examined the role of human capital in shaping the discourse of Education For All (EFA) policymakers at UNESCO, in Paris, France, and EFA teachers in Sub-Saharan West Africa. UNESCO, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) all operate as neocolonial powers which continue to exert control over former colonies. These institutions exert control through ideology and financial restraints based in neoliberal policy. Through an examination of UNESCO documentation, interviews with UNESCO policymakers, and interviews with EFA teachers in Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Togo, the ways in which ideologies were communicated and internalized was examined. The UNESCO policymakers and EFA teachers both have insights into human capital and its role in EFA policies, but each group has varying levels of insight based on their lived experiences. Some of the interviewees were blind or chose not see discursive effects of human capital in EFA policy and how it contributes to a system of global and regional inequality. One of the reasons for this is that both groups do not want to lose their perceived status. Another reason that emerged was the disconnect between the policymaker and the EFA teacher. This research looked at the role ideologies play in shaping policy and how neocolonials maintain control over former colonies through the permeation of their hegemonic view. Ideologies are maintained and produced by structures which need to change if a counter-ideology were to emerge. This study showed that alternatives to the current ideologies contained in EFA need to emerge. There needs to be counter-ideologies that break the cycle of being controlled by neocolonial powers through ideologies and reliance on foreign aid.


Education For All, Making It Work (Project), Human capital--Africa, Sub-Saharan, Human capital--Africa, West, Unesco, Education--Africa, Sub-Saharan--Western influences, Education--Africa, West--Western influences

Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Leonardo, Zeus

Second Committee Member

Pence, Lucretia

Third Committee Member

Martinez, Glenabah

Fourth Committee Member

Gottlieb, Marvin