Which Education for All goal needs a rethink? Which calls for us to try harder? Read and share the Report cards for each of the global education goals set in Dakar taken from the GMR 2015: Education for all 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges.
The freshly released GMR, “Education for All 2000-2015: achievements and challenges” shows that only a third of countries reached all of the measurable Education for All goals. Only half reached the most watched goal of universal primary education.
While the goals themselves may have been missed, however, this assessment of national and international efforts reveals only part of the story. Before we draw definitive conclusions as to the success of Education for All, let’s consider new GMR analysis in the latest Report that examines the extent to which the curve of EFA change may have been bent upwards in the years since Dakar. In other words, has the pace of education progress quickened over the past 15 years?
Carrying out this exercise does not necessarily mean that all progress found can be credited to the Education for All movement. However, it does provide a stronger basis to evaluate the record of the movement before we move on to look at the SDGs. And the world will be closer to key targets than if previous trends had continued.
On the occasion of the launch of the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015: Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges, many key dignitaries assembled on three different continents to discuss the Report’s findings and the implications for education in the future.
The Director General’s conclusion on the verdict given in the Report on the Education for All movement was complemented by remarks from many high profile speakers over the course of the day. Some of these remarks are listed here:
Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova: There has been tremendous progress across the world since 2000 – but we are not there yet. Despite all efforts by governments, civil society and the international community, the world has not achieved Education for All.
So much has been achieved since 2000 – we need to do far more, to ensure quality education and lifelong learning for all. There is simply no more powerful or longer- lasting investment in human rights and dignity, in social inclusion and sustainable development. Experience since 2000 shows what can be done – we need to draw on this to do more.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon: We know that when we work together and invest in the future, the sky is the limit for young people. Let us harness the power of education to build a better future for all.
The 12th GMR report has just been launched: ‘Education for All 2000-2015: achievements and challenges.’ The Report shows how the world has done in achieving the six Education for All goals set out in Dakar in 2000.
Here is the #EduVerdict:
Just one-third of countries have achieved all the measurable EFA goals
Just one half of all countries have achieved the most watched goal of universal primary enrolment, and a further 10% were close to achieving it.
In 2012, 121 million children and adolescents were still out of school, down from 204 million in 1999.
The poorest children are 4 times more likely to be out of school, and 5 times more likely not to complete primary education than the richest.
Even so, the EFA movement has increased education progress since 1999
Since 1999, 80 million more children and adolescents are now enrolled in primary school.
34 million more children are in school now than would have been the case had trends from the 1990s persisted
Since 1999, double the number of countries have actively monitored education quality by conducting at least one national learning assessment.
In 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal 164 countries pledged to achieve six education goals by 2015. Participants committed to vastly improve education opportunities for children, youth and adults. Governments and international partners pledged that no country engaged in these efforts would be hindered by a lack of resources.
The Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report, established in 2002 and prepared by an editorially independent team hosted by UNESCO, was mandated with monitoring progress towards the six EFA goals and tracking the performance of governments, civil society, bilateral donors and international agencies in the implementation of the agreed strategies.
The six Dakar goals are the result of a collective agreement and partnership. The report’s editorial board therefore includes representatives from diverse constituencies including experts, international agencies, UNESCO institutes, donors and civil society. The report has received funding from governments (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom), two foundations (Open Society Foundation and the Master Card Foundation) as well as UNICEF and UNESCO.
This blog provides a glimpse of what has happened behind the scenes in the creation of the 518 page report ‘Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges’ due out on Thursday 9 April.
The theme of each of the EFA Global Monitoring Reports is suggested by the Report Director and approved by the Report’s Advisory Board, which meets once a year. A broad concept note is then prepared, and reactions to it are invited through a public consultation process. Ten researchers of the GMR team then begin working up a zero draft drawing on team discussions and incorporating comments from external reviewers. Four drafts will be written and reviewed before the final version is sent for editing.
The Zero draft
The initial zero draft is presented to an expert group, specific to the theme of that Report, for their comments. For the GMR 2015, this included Christopher Colclough, Suzanne Grant-Lewis and Michael Ward.
The external consultation asks the public to comment on the Report’s concept note. This is an important process, as it enables the team to hear challenging comments from experts, practitioners and minority voices, and to learn about evidence pertaining to different countries and organisations, that could be considered for inclusion.
Concurrently, the researchers conduct their own background research, looking at recent journal articles and technical reports; international, regional and national survey data; information made available from Ministries of Education; and data compiled by the UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics and other UN agencies.
The recent draft of the outcome document for the Addis Ababa Financing for Development Conference said that, by 2025, public spending must reach US$300 per person or 10% of national income to provide an essential basket of public services, ranging from all that is necessary to eradicate poverty and hunger, to access affordable energy and achieve the health and education targets. When compared to the estimates the GMR team made this month for achieving the education targets, this figure is worryingly low, and underestimates the resources needed to reach our ambitions by 2030.
The UN Millennium Project in 2003 estimated that a minimum of US120-140 per person was needed to achieve the MDGs related to social sectors. This was in 2003 prices, and works out around the same amount as the newly configured US$300 per person for achieving sustainable development for all. But, surely a more ambitious agenda such as is outlined in the SDGs calls for more resources?
From education’s perspective, we want all children to have access to at least one year of pre-school and several years of secondary education, and that costs money. We need a greater emphasis on quality and learning than has been the case since 2000. We also need to address equity concerns, so that the marginalized gain access to education, and this requires additional resources. Our own estimates are that implementing equitable education interventions, for instance, increase per-student costs by 30%. In short the amount per person for education should be far more than was estimated as needed in 2003.
There currently exists no finance target in the sustainable development agenda, which is of concern if we are hoping to hold donors and governments to account post-2015. It is therefore commendable for the Committee to begin the conversation about what figure governments should commit to.