Global Co-ordination > Working Group on Education for All >
First meeting / Document 1
Post Dakar Activities Undertaken
by the Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM)

Kazi Rafiqul Alam
Executive Director

1. Introduction

Dakar Framework of Action outlines 6 major areas of action:

1. Expanding and improving early childhood care and education;

2. Ensuring access to and completion of primary education of good quality;

3. Ensuring the learning needs of young people and adults through appropriate learning and life skills programmes;

4. Achieving improvement in levels of adult literacy and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults;

5. Eliminating gender disparities; and

6. Improving all aspects of quality of education.
A critical examination of the actual situation indicates that in almost all these areas NGOs are quite active and the formal sector, in most cases, is not in a position to address them adequately. Here comes the importance of the complementary role of NGOs in achieving Dakar goals.

2. Activities of DAM for effective Implementation of Dakar Goals

Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) has been working in the field of non-formal education for the last 2 decades. In its areas of intervention DAM implements programmes at the grassroots level on the one hand and supports other organisations at national, regional and international levels on the other through capacity building, programme implementation, training manual & IEC materials development, replication of innovative programmes and policy support. The activities of DAM as a follow up of Dakar World Conference on Education are briefly given below:

2.1 At the International and Regional Levels

As a member of Collective Consultation process of UNESCO, Paris and as one of the member institutions of APPEAL Resource and Training Consortium (ARTC) of UNESCO, Bangkok, DAM has implemented a large no. of activities, as follows:

2.1.1 Capacity Building of EFA Partner Organisations

1. DAM in collaboration with UNESCO, Paris has organised an international workshop on Developing Training Kits for Local NGOs Capacity Building in Basic Education during 6-15 May 2000. 9 (nine) countries from Asia and Africa participated in the programme. As a follow-up of this meeting capacity building of 240 NGOs engaged in basic education in these countries have been planned.

2. DAM cooperated with UNESCO, Bangkok by facilitating the meeting on Capacity Building and Resource Development for Strengthening Participation in Literacy and Continuing Education Programme held in Thailand from 15-25 July 2000. Several countries from the Asia-Pacific region participated.

3. DAM helped the Government of Cambodia in the capacity building of their Department of Non-formal Education personnel through facilitating training workshop organised in October 2000 by UNESCO, Bangkok on Monitoring and Evaluation of Literacy and Continuing Education programme.

2.1.2 Basic and Continuing Education

1. DAM in cooperation with UNESCO, Bangkok and UNESCO, Dhaka organised technical meeting of ARTC on Promoting Life-Long Learning through Community Learning Centres held during 11-13 September 2000. 10 ARTC member institutions and 9 UNESCO Country Offices from the Asia-Pacific region participated. This meeting thoroughly discussed and planned regional activities in basic and continuing education in the light of Dakar Framework of Action.

2. DAM participated in a global conference organised and hosted by the University of Cambridge, UK during 15-17 September 2000 to highlight the concept of Community Learning Centres (Ganokendra) as an innovative programme for the development of learning society at the community level.

3. DAM helped UNESCO, Bangkok in the development of a manual on "Effective Implementation of Continuing Education at the Grassroots Level" organised jointly by UNESCO, PROAP and Northern Territory University, Australia during July 3-12, 2000.

4. DAM has been invited by the Commonwealth Secretariat to attend the Conference of the Commonwealth Education Ministers to be held in Halifax, Canada from 27-30 November 2000 to share its innovative community learning centres (Ganokendra) programme so that a viable model of continuing education for the Commonwealth countries could be evolved.

2.1.3 Improving Quality of Education

1. A sub-regional workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation on Literacy and Continuing Education Programme in South-Asia was organised by DAM and UNESCO, Bangkok during 19-24 June 2000. In this meeting Practitioners' Manual on Monitoring and Evaluation of the Literacy and Continuing Education Programme for the Asia-Pacific regional countries was developed. 7 countries of the Asia-Pacific region participated.

2. DAM helped UNESCO, Bangkok and ACCU (Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO), Japan in June 2000 in developing a Handbook for Adult Learning Materials Development at the Community Level.

3. DAM helped UNESCO by facilitating the regional workshop on Developing Handbook on Community Learning Centre Management held in Indonesia during 14 -28 October 2000.

4. DAM helped UNESCO in the development of a Resource Book for Non-formal Education Facilitators for use in the Asia-Pacific region in October, 2000.

5. DAM is participating in one of the research study undertaken by UNESCO Institute of Education, Hamburg, Germany on "Education, Training and Skill Development for Decent Work in the Information Sector in South and South Asia - Bangladesh."

2.1.4 Early Childhood Care and Primary Education

DAM participated in the First Forum of the Global Network of Religions for Children held in Tokyo during 16-18 May 2000 where about 300 delegates and religious leaders from across the globe participated. In this meeting the Dakar Framework of Action was focused to take care of childhood care and primary education for the children.

2.1.5 Promoting Gender Parity

DAM helped Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) for launching Literacy Resource Centres for Girls and Women in India and Iran during 22-29 August 2000. These literacy resource centres will act as focal point for initiating programmes and activities for women education and capacity building of both GO and NGOs in both the countries.

2.1.6 Promoting Life Skills Programme for the Youth and Adults

DAM facilitated the regional workshop on Continuing Education Focusing on Small Enterprise for New Literates through Community Learning Centres organised by UNESCO in Manila, Philippines during 2-15 November 2000

2.2 Bringing New Partners for Implementation of Dakar Goals

DAM is the one of the Executive Member of Asia South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education (ASPBAE). In its meeting held in June in Nepal DAM placed Dakar Framework of Action for discussion and got the commitment of the participating NGOs from South-Asia to take active role for the achievement of EFA goals. Again, in the World Assembly of ASPBAE held in Chiangmai, Thailand in November 2000 DAM conducted a session on the upcoming plans of UNESCO on the Dakar follow-up process. This has helped the NGO community in the Asia-Pacific region to understand the Dakar Framework of Action and its implementation process.

2.3 DAM' s Contribution at the National and NGO Level

1. In the national level DAM is a member of the National EFA Committee to prepare national plan of action for Bangladesh. DAM is participating in the meetings of this Committee and helped to ensure the complementary role of the NGOs in the implementation of Dakar Framework of Action.

2. DAM is participating in country level EFA activities in the following fields.

a. Reorienting the primary education curriculum in collaboration with the National Curriculum and Text Book Board towards poverty alleviation.

b. DAM is under taking a research on the community learning centres project sponsored by UNESCO, Dhaka

c. At the NGO level DAM shared with the NGO community in Bangladesh through "Campaign for Popular Education" an umbrella organisation of NFE NGOs in Bangladesh in disseminating the Dakar declaration highlighting the NGOs role in the follow-up process.

2.4 DAM at the institutional level

(i) Produced 31 IEC materials since May, 2000 for the promotion and quality improvement of basic and continuing education.

(ii) Trained more than 5000 professionals for the effective implementation of Dakar goals

(iii) Trained several national and local NGOs for the capacity building of the professionals

(iv) Organised 1,074 Community Learning Centres (Ganokendras) for life-long learning with the aim of creating learning society.

(v) Participating in a USAID sponsored project being implemented by CARE in Bangladesh to provide continuing education and health and nutrition support to the children and women.

(vi) Established a Vocational Training Institute for the Working Children which is going to start its operation from 1st December 2000 for providing skills training to the working children and youth.

(vii) DAM is implementing a project with the assistance of DANIDA covering a population of 7.5 million designed to meet the learning needs of people and enhance women empowerment in the water and sanitation sectors.

(viii) Implementing 13 community schools for the improvement of quality of primary education

(ix) Running 125 learning centres for the working children in the urban areas

(x) DAM is providing support to the national level NGOs and Government organisation through Bangladesh Literacy Resource Centre (BLRC) for promotion of girls and women education.

(xi) Through Child Labour Resource Centre DAM is promoting education of the children who would otherwise have turned into working children.

(xii) DAM is also implementing programmes on promoting awareness against abuse of drugs and HIV/AIDS throughout the country through organising 421 voluntary local level committees in the vulnerable areas.

(xiii) DAM is undertaking one of several UNESCO, Dhaka sponsored research studies designed to help the inter-ministerial committee constituted to formulate the national plan of Action.