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  EUROPEANS AND AMERICANS : THE DAY OF RECKONING
  (.pdf)
   
    An exceptional report will be presented at the Education for All Conference to be held in Warsaw, Poland from 6 to 8 February next. Exceptional, because never before have education specialists and representatives of the international community tackled such an ambitious project from the point of view of its objectives, duration and scope. The stock taking in Warsaw concerns Europe and North America. Its results are likely to be a mixed bag. Even disturbing. Since, surprisingly or not, when it comes to young people left by the educational roadside, the Third World has no monopoly, far from it.
   
    Teachers who haven't been paid for three years in a country at war. Refugee children attending school under the most precarious conditions. Schools lacking even the most rudimentary equipment in some rural areas. New teachers barely trained. Immigrant families completely out-of-step economically and culturally in their new country. Illiterate Europeans, left far behind even before the arrival of the Euro or other regulations handed down by the European Union. The obstacles facing Education for All seem to be constantly multiplying. And the promises made, ten years ago, at the World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand, are far from being kept. In Jomtien, representatives of 155 countries and some 150 organizations solemnly committed themselves to the goal of univeral primary education and the massive reduction of illiteracy by the end of the decade. This was in 1990 and here we are at the day of reckoning. For over a year, all of these countries have been absorbed in the stock-taking enterprise. Their findings will be presented by region at six conferences, including the Warsaw meeting. A global report will then be presented at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, from 26 to 28 April 2000.
   
  In 2015
   
    Responsible for the ambitious evaluation, the International Consultative Forum on Education for All has been monitoring progress over the last ten years. This global control mechanism also works to stimulate dialogue and partnerships to promote effective co-operation among governments and their partners to provide education for all. Created in the wake of Jomtien, it is co-sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the World Bank along with a number of bilateral agencies. It is based at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. For Svein Osttveit, Executive Secretary of the Forum, the balance sheet will be "qualitative as well as quantitative" and for Denise Lievesley, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, "it will serve both as a vital benchmark to assess future progress and to ensure that any targets we set are realistic and accompanied by adequate resources". It will be presented at the opening of the Warsaw Conference and will be followed by the elaboration of a Regional Action Plan. The objective from now on is to define strategies and appropriate means to achieve by the year 2015 what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has laid down since 1948: "Everyone has the right to education."...
   
 
   
 
EDUCATION FOR ALL IN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA UNDER REVIEW AT WARSAW CONFERENCE (FEB. 6 - 8)
   
    Paris, January 17 - Whether education for all is a reality in Europe and North America will be examined at a regional meeting organised in Warsaw (Poland) by the International Consultative Forum on Education for All, February 6 to 8, with a view to assessing progress achieved since the World Conference on Education for All (Jomtien, Thailand, 1990).
   
    Some 300 participants including ministers - respectively in charge of education, foreign and social affairs - and representatives of non-governmental organisations are expected to attend the meeting. Six roundtable debates are scheduled: Planning and Management of Basic Education; Laying the Foundations of Lifelong Learning; Early Childhood Education and Development; Education and Work; Education, Poverty and Exclusion; Democratic Citizenship in the Context of Multiculturalism. A Regional Framework for Action will be discussed and adopted during the meeting.
   
    Ten years ago at the World Conference on Education for All, 155 countries and some 150 organisations committed themselves to provide basic education for all and to reduce illiteracy massively. The time has come to take stock of what has been achieved. Six regional conferences will make it possible to group national data for inclusion in a global report which will be presented at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal (April 26 to 28). By then, regional meetings will have been held not only in Warsaw but also in Johannesburg (South Africa) in December 1999; Bangkok (Thailand), January 17 - 20; Cairo (Egypt), January 24 - 27; Recife (Brazil) February 2 - 4; and San Domingo (Dominican Republic), February 10 - 12.
   
    Although the public might assume that education for all is a well-established reality in Europe and North America, this is not the case. Developing countries do not have a monopoly on exclusion from education. Europe and North America also have teachers who have not been paid for three years, refugee children attending school under the most precarious conditions, rural schools lacking even the most rudimentary equipment, inadequately trained teachers, immigrant children badly integrated into the school system. The failings of basic education are legion even in rich countries. We know, for instance, that some 20 per cent of the adult population in this part of the world have difficulties with reading and writing. This makes the Warsaw assessment all the more vital.
   
    The International Consultative Forum on Education for All is in charge of this ambitious evaluation and of those carried out simultaneously in the other regions of the world. The Forum is based at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and is co-sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNDP) and the World Bank along with a number of bilateral agencies.
   
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