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The EFA 2000 Assessment > To know more > Flash 02/12/1998
 What is it?
    Information note on
country reports
General guidelines
 Why is it important?
 Who organized it?
Regional EFA teams
National coordinators
 How was it done?
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 To know more
  Flash 01/09/1998
Flash 02/09/1998
Flash.03/04/1999
Flash 04/09/1999
 
Viewpoint
 
  The world’s nations are in the process of assessing their progress in achieving the goals of Education for All. For this effort to be successful, there must be serious and grassroots engagement. Countries must own this process! But equally important will be capitalizing on geographical proximity and shared institutional know-how. This means making the most of links between countries, and will require inter-country co-operation at subregional and regional levels.
 
  This makes clear sense in island subregions, such as the Pacific and the Caribbean. But all subregional and regional bodies with a focus on human development should make the EFA 2000 Assessment a priority. A broad coalition of partners should be involved, United Nations agencies, governments, non-governmental organizations, teachers unions, parents’ associations, research institutions and the media.
 
  Participating countries will be invited to discuss results of their assessments and associated special studies at regional meetings to be held in late 1999 and early 2000. These meetings will be major forums that have the advantage of being closer to the country-level than a global event. They can help countries, within their own regions, share experiences and challenges, and learn from each other’s successes and shortcomings. The outcomes of the regional meetings will then serve as the foundation for the fourth global meeting of the EFA Forum to be held in the year 2000.
 
  UNDP, along with its partners in the EFA Forum, is helping to support this process. UNDP sees the EFA commitments made by the international community in 1990 as crucial in the pursuit of more effective, human-centred development for the twenty-first century. Thus we will be working alongside all of you in making this assessment a success!
 
John Lawrence, Principal Technical Adviser United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
 
More emphasis on regional activities
 
  Regions will be at the core of the EFA 2000 Assessment process. At its meeting in September 1998, the EFA Forum Steering Committee decided that there should be a stronger focus on regional assessment activities, giving more importance to the regional Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) and the regional EFA meetings to be held in late 1999 and early 2000.
 
  "The regional TAGs are extremely important," says Michael Lakin, Executive Secretary of the EFA Forum. "They must immediately become operational and manage a wide range of activities."
 
  For the Assessment, countries will be grouped according to eleven regions: East Asia, South and West Asia, Central Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Arab States, Southern and Eastern Africa, Central and Western Africa, North America and Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. In more than half of them regional TAGs are already up and running.
 
  The first priority of the regional TAGs is to mobilize countries to participate in the EFA 2000 Assessment, and then to provide technical assistance as needed.
 
  To date only some thirty-five countries have appointed national co-ordinators to design and supervise the national assessment exercise. "It’s very diappointing," Lakin comments. "If the global assessment is to succeed, all countries urgently need to set up a special team and start the necessary technical work."
 
  He adds that the assessment is an excellent opportunity for countries to rethink their EFA strategies, and to develop their capacity to monitor the provision of basic education.
 
The regional TAGs: who are they and what do they do
 
  July 1998: The main purpose of the regional Technical Advisory Groups is to organize regional assessment activities and to mobilize and assist the EFA assessment process at country level.
 
  They will work with the EFA Forum Secretariat to identify those countries wishing to participate in special surveys and case studies, assist in raising funds for regional activities, and organize the regional EFA policy meetings toward the end of the assessment exercise.
 
  The regional TAGs consist of designated staff in the regional offices of the Forum’s five convenors (UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank) together with representatives of other multi-lateral and bi-lateral development agencies, as well as regional banks and institutions.
 
  Each regional TAG designates one of its members as the regional focal point for communications with countries and with the EFA Forum Secretariat.
 
Commissioned studies to complement national EFA 2000 Assessments
 
  The global EFA 2000 Assessment will draw mainly on national EFA reports on how they are meeting the basic learning needs of their people.
 
  However, the worldwide review of basic education will include also a dozen thematic studies on educational issues of global concern, and some twenty country case studies on literacy and educational attainment of young people and adults.
 
  The thematic studies will describe best practices, as well as successful and unsuccessful experiments in policy implementation. The suggested themes -- all relating to basic education -- include adult education, applying new technologies, children in difficult circumstances, decentralization and community participation, demographic transition, donor financing of EFA, early childhood care and development, education for special needs, education in economic crises, girls' education, refugees, school health and nutrition, and textbooks and learning materials.
 
  Each study will be sponsored by a development agency or a major NGO, which will seek appropriate partners to carry out the study.
 
  Some twenty case studies on literacy and non-formal education will be carried out through analyses of in-country sources such as household surveys and census data. An important part of each study will be in-depth description of at least one example of ‘best practice’, a successful experiment, or a major reform in literacy and non-formal education.
 
  The case studies will be commissioned by the regional TAGs to appropriate national institutions.
 
Measuring the quality of education
 
  Assessing the quality of education is an important part of the EFA 2000 Assessment. Sample surveys of the conditions of teaching and learning in primary schools are planned for a cross-section of 20-30 developing countries.
 
  "Most developing countries lack this kind of vital educational information," says Vinayagum Chinapah, who is co-ordinating the special surveys. "Any serious effort to assess progress and problems in basic education needs to address this lacuna."
 
  The surveys will use a school questionnaire with some 40 items, including school background, staff information, school facilities, learning materials, health and security, as well as a teacher classroom questionnaire, containing some 50 items covering teacher training, use of teaching materials, attendance and job satisfaction. .
 
  Seven countries in Southern and Eastern Africa have already started to undertake the surveys, with funding support from the EFA Forum Secretariat. The regional TAGs will help identify other countries to carry out similar surveys.
 
  The EFA 2000 Assessment will also build upon the results of the joint UNESCO-UNICEF Monitoring Learning Achievement Project, which was launched in 1992 and has been implemented in some 30 countries. Furthermore, it will include development work on the learning achievement of 14-year-olds.
 
New publications of the EFA Forum Secretariat
 
  EFA 2000, No. 33, focuses on basic education in the Arab States. It includes an opinion article by Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan and a feature article on the working conditions of teachers in Algeria. The bulletin is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish.
 
  Newspapers in Adult Education: A Sourcebook - on how to use news-papers in improving adult education. Published in co-operation with the World Association of News-papers, it is currently available in English.
 
  Brochure on the Education for All movement and the Education for All Forum, available in English, French and Spanish. (copy enclosed).
 
Staff members of the EFA Forum Secretariat:
 
Executive Secretary:
Michael Lakin

Deputy Executive Secretaries:
Svein Osttveit, Ulrika Peppler Barry

Information Officer:
Anne Müller

Secretary:
Mary Konin
 
Assessment co-ordination:
Warren Mellor (country assessment)
Vinayagum Chinapah (special surveys)
 
 
The Education for All Newsflash is published by the Secretariat of the International Consultative Forum on Education for All (EFA Forum). It is a special information service for professionals involved in the worldwide EFA 2000 Assessment (1998-2000). The assessment is a major activity in the follow-up of the 1990 World Conference on Education for All.

Editor: Anne Müller

Contact: The EFA Forum Secretariat, UNESCO, 7, Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France.

Fax: (33) 1 4568 5629; E-mail: efa@unesco.org Internet homepage: http://www.education.unesco.org/efa
 
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