World Education Report 2000


he theme of this year’s World Education Report, the right to education, is particularly appropriate for International Year for the Culture of Peace. Human rights are central to peace. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states in its preamble that: ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’.


he theme of the report is also appropriate for another reason: the international community met at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, 26-28 April, to assess the progress made towards the World Conference on Education for All goals that were adopted ten years ago in Jomtien, Thailand, and at the same time to renew its commitment to, and intensify its efforts to reach these goals.


ith these considerations in mind, the aim of the report is twofold: to contribute towards a better international understanding of the nature and scope of the right to education as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to complement the assessment of progress towards Education for All goals that is being undertaken by the World Forum on Education for All.


he report has four chapters. The first is a general one about the right to education and the commitments made by the international community over the years to ensure its implementation. The remaining three chapters consider the extent to which the worldwide expansion of education over the past half century, and the successive stated commitments by the international community to ensure the implementation of the various aspects of the right to education, have represented progress towards the realization of this right. Chapter 2 focuses on the expansion of education at what is referred to in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration as the ‘elementary and fundamental stages’, i.e. what today is called ‘basic education’. Chapter 3 focuses on the expansion of education beyond these stages, i.e. secondary, tertiary and ‘lifelong’ education. Chapter 4 considers the successive commitments that have been agreed to by the international community broadly in regard to education’s purposes and contents.



Table of contents

Foreword by the Director-General of UNESCO


Chapter 1. A multi-faceted right

      A multi-faceted right
      Commitments to implementation
      Shifts of emphasis

Chapter 2. Towards basic education for all 

      ‘Fundamental education’
      Eradication of illiteracy
      Elementary education

Chapter 3. An expanding vision of educational opportunity

      An expanding vision
      Secondary education 
      Tertiary education

Chapter 4. A renewed concern for education’s purposes

      Education for peace, human rights and democracy
      Education for ‘development’
      Educational choice


      I.   The writing of Article 26 of the Universal Declaration 
            of Human Rights
      II.  Regional tables
      III. World education indicators
      IV. UNESCO reports, publications and periodicals 
            concerning education 1997–99

To read the Foreword and chapter Summaries   Acrobat Reader required

Download Acrobat Reader

World Education Report 2000
ISBN 92-3-103729-3
Published in 2000 by UNESCO
178 pp., graphics and tables

The Report is also available in French and Spanish. The Arabic, Chinese and Russian editions will be available by the end of this year.

  Back to WER homepage