Vote for Education!

vote forToday marks the launch of GCE’s Global Action Week, calling on us all to ‘Vote for Education’. The campaign calls on people worldwide to help set the future direction of education for the next generation. Fifteen years to the day from the Dakar conference that set forth an expanded EFA vision and a set of six concrete goals, it calls on activists to find out what has worked since 2000 and what didn’t.

Just two weeks ago we launched the new EFA Report ‘Education for All 2000-2015: achievements and challenges, which showed that that there has not been overall success in achieving Education for All, but acknowledges dramatic progress by some countries along the way. This blog celebrates the successful efforts of some countries since Dakar, and extracts lessons we can learn from their achievements. Their stories are a huge source of optimism as we establish a new vision for the next 15 years.

(Goal 1) Early childhood care and education: Ghana

Lesson: At least one year of compulsory pre-primary education should be provided as part of an extended basic education cycle.

“Major interventions to improve early childhood care and education have included the abolition of school fees; support for needy pupils; production and supply of teaching and learning materials, staff capacity-building; provision of school uniforms and meals; mainstreaming kindergarten, and stronger collaboration among ministries and between schools and communities.” Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Hon. Minister for Education of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana

At the time of Dakar, just under half of children were attending pre-school in Ghana, while now there is universal enrolment. Ghana stood out from its neighbours in already having ECCE policies in 2000. Since then it has abolished school fees at this level, made pre-primary education compulsory for two years starting at age 3, dedicated resources to school materials and training teachers, all while providing extra support for the most disadvantaged children. Currently, The New Education Strategic Plan (2010-2020) provides a series of public-awareness campaigns to boost the image of early childhood education in the eyes of the public. The steady growth in enrolment rates speaks for itself.

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The regional stories of the GMR 2015. Part I

The GMR 2015 was released almost two weeks ago. Events are continuing to take place around the world, including in Pakistan, the Philippines, Germany, Netherlands, Namibia and Switzerland just this week. In total, well over 60 countries will be holding launches to discuss and debate the Report’s findings. Below are the summary stories for two regions: the Arab States and sub-Saharan Africa. Each regional overview highlights key achievements, and pinpoints major challenges still remaining before Education for All is achieved.

ARAB STATES: Conflict is holding back education

Click to see full document

Click to see full document

Early childhood care and education programmes have expanded considerably, but participation levels are still low. Algeria is an exception, with a 2% participation rate in 1999 that is projected to exceed 100% in 2015.

Even though there has been significant progress toward universal primary education, such as in Morocco, only Tunisia is projected to achieve the EFA goal of ensuring that all children who have access to primary school also complete it.  The Report shows that the region is still home to 4.5 million out of school children and that just over a sixth of students leave school early in the region. Conflict, and its impact on education, has intensified in the region: the proportion of the region’s out of school children affected by armed conflict has risen from 63% to 87%.

Responding to the needs of youth and adults remains a challenge. Illiteracy still affects almost 52 million adults – just over a fifth of the adult population – and two-thirds of them are women.

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Report cards for Education for All: 2000-2015

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.

Report_cards_En 1

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Was education progress faster after Dakar?

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.

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Highlights from the launch events of the GMR 2015

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:

The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova © UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo

Irina Bokova. Credit: UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo

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.

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Education for All 2000-2015: The #EduVerdict is in!

picture report cover EnglishThe 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.

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The GMR – and how it has contributed to EFA

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.

School children in Brazil.  © Eraldo Peres/Photo Agencia

School children in Brazil. © Eraldo Peres/Photo Agencia

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.

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