News bulletin board of UNESCO's Education Sector
No. 15
 
Welcome to the electronic news bulletin board of UNESCO's Education Sector, informing you about UNESCO's activities in the field of education and in particular the follow-up to the World Education Forum in Dakar (April 2000). Please forward it to other interested colleagues.
 

Contents (15 January 2001)

---> Nomination of new Assistant Director-General for Education of UNESCO

---> New structure in UNESCO to facilitate Dakar follow-up

---> Experts to discuss resource mobilization for EFA

---> Regional up-date on EFA activities

---> Countries in action for EFA (in this issue: Brazil, Nepal and Pakistan)

Attachments in this issue

---> Minutes of meeting in the subregional EFA Forum (SRF) for East and South East Asia on 7 December 2000

---> Final report and platform of the seminar on the contribution of NGOs to the EFA goals in sub-Saharan Africa (Bamako, Mali, from 29 November to 2 December 2000)

 
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Nomination of new Assistant Director-General for Education of UNESCO
 
Sir John Daniel, a British national, has been appointed UNESCO's new Assistant Director-General for Education. He is currently the Vice-Chancellor of the Open University in the United Kingdom and President of the United States Open University.
 
"I am very pleased that Sir John Daniel has accepted to bring to UNESCO an experience gained through a prestigious career, which has not only made him one of the pioneers but also one of the leading personalities in open learning and distance education," UNESCO's Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said last week in a meeting with the Permanent Delegations to UNESCO.
 
Until the end of March 2001, Aïcha Bah Diallo, Deputy ADG for Education, is assuming the responsibility of ADG. Jacques Hallak, acting ADG for Education in the past eight months, retired at the end of last year.
 
New structure in UNESCO to facilitate Dakar follow-up
 
UNESCO's Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, has announced new arrangements within the Education Sector to ensure effective co-ordination of Dakar follow-up activities. Mr Matsuura also underlined that the entire Organization needs to be mobilized for maximum effectiveness and success in the follow-up. Special emphasis will be given to enhanced co-operation between sectors.
 
The structure will encompass the following elements
 

Intersectoral Strategic Group, which has already been functioning successfully for several months.

- Education Sector Senior Staff Group, which will monitor the activities undertaken by the sector within the framework of Dakar follow-up and report to the Intersectoral Strategic Group.

- Network of the UNESCO Institutes and Regional Offices, which will become increasingly important because of their activities on the regional and subregional levels and as vehicles for encouraging co-operation with partners.

- Dakar Follow-up Unit, its steering committee and its correspondents in all divisions of the Education Sector. The Unit will be headed by a 'lead manager' and will comprise five professional staff members. It will aim at building strong inter-sectoral links and at orchestrating follow-up activities on the regional, subregional and international levels. The Division of Educational Policies and Strategies will be responsible for assisting Dakar follow-up plans and activities at the national level. The Dakar Follow-up Unit will report to a Steering Committee composed of four UNESCO top officials and two external personalities, and will be supported by a number of correspondents based in all divisions of the Education Sector and in selected UNESCO Institutes. Acting lead manager of the Dakar Unit is Mr Luis Tiburcio (l.tiburcio@unesco.org).

The new arrangements have already taken effect.
 
Experts to discuss resource mobilization for EFA
 
UNESCO has invited bilateral and multilateral organizations to designate experts to undertake a critical review of the funding needs and strategies proposed to reach the EFA goals and targets in specific national contexts. The meeting will take place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in February 2001 (dates to be confirmed).
 
Based on UNESCO's recent draft discussion paper entitled 'Development Partner Cooperation in Support of Education for All: Rationale and Strategies', the experts will specifically discuss the actions needed to put paragraph 11 of the Dakar Framework for Action into effect.
 
Two working groups will be designing actions for the six elements in the Dakar Framework on (1) increasing external finance for education; (2) ensuring greater predictability in the flow of external assistance; (3) facilitating more effective donor co-ordination; (4) strengthening sector-wide approaches; (5) providing earlier, more extensive and broader debt relief and/or debt cancellation for poverty reduction; and (6) undertaking monitoring of the implementation of the purposed actions. The outcomes of the meeting will serve as input towards finalization of the draft discussion paper. A similar meeting will be organized with the NGO community
 
This initiative follows the recommendations of the recent Working Group meeting on EFA which met at UNESCO Headquarters during 22-24 November 2000.
 
Regional up-date on EFA activities
 
South Asia
 
The South Asia Ministerial meeting on EFA will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 10-12 April 2001 to review action taken since Dakar, including the preparation of national action plans, data collection, etc. Attending will be participants at ministerial level, as well as from non-governmental organizations from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Also…
This week, from 16-18 January, the first preparatory meeting will take place in New Delhi, India, to plan two subegional training courses on planing and management of basic education and curriculum development to be held in India later this year. Other training courses under the auspices of the nine high-population countries initiative (E9) are being organized in Pakistan (monitoring of learning achievement) and in Bangladesh (literacy and non-formal education). All training is organized by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) and relevant local bodies.
 
East and South East Asia
 
The subregional EFA Forum (SRF) for East and South East Asia met on 7 December 2000 to discuss the Terms of Reference and organization of the SRF. It is expected to function at three levels: (i) day-to-day operation; (ii) a working group that may meet every quarter or more frequently and consists of United Nations agencies, international and regional organizations and bilateral and multilateral donors; and (iii) a plenary forum that may meet once or twice a year and consists of all SRF members.
 
Based at UNESCO Bangkok, the SRF Secretariat will serve as the clearing-house to provide regularly correspondence and information concerning EFA activities in the subregion. It will work in close collaboration with the regional mechanisms in Central Asia, the Pacific and South Asia.
 
Please find the minutes of the meeting attached to this Bulletin (in English only).
 
Latin America and the Caribbean
 
At the initiative of UNESCO and UNICEF regional offices for Latin America and the Caribbean, an inter-agency preparatory meeting for the co-ordination of Dakar follow-up in the region will be held in the World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C. from 1 to 2 February 2001. The meeting is organized by the partner agencies of EFA (UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank). It will also be attended by other agencies of the United Nations system, the Inter American Development Bank, as well as bilateral donor agencies and foundations.
 
The purpose of the meeting is to prepare a co-ordination strategy on EFA for the period 2001-2015. This strategy will be submitted for consideration by the Ministers of Education at the Seventh Meeting of the Regional Intergovernmental Committee of the Major Project in Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (PROMEDLAC VII) to be held from 5-7 March 2001 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
 
Countries in action for EFA (in this issue: Brazil, Nepal and Pakistan)
 
Brazil
 
In Brazil, UNESCO has been invited to monitor and evaluate the expansion of the ongoing national literacy project called Alfabetzaçao Solodaria. The objective of the project, which started in 1999, is to fight social exclusion by educating youth and adults in less developed regions of Brazil and the new phase of the programme aims at expanding and promoting its model and mobilizing new partners within communities still not reached by it. The Government of Brazil and private companies share costs, and the programme is co-ordinated nationally but executed in a decentralized manner. A team of consultants produces the educational materials and orientation handbooks.
 
Contact: Mr Jorge Werthein, Director, UNESCO Brazilia
E-mail: UHBRZ@unesco.org
 
Nepal
 
The Government of Nepal has formed a ten-member Task Force for the preparation of the national EFA plan of action. Chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Sports in Nepal, the Task Force will facilitate and co-ordinate Dakar follow-up activities, including serving as a core group of the EFA national forum, co-ordinating issues such as advocacy, resource mobilization, monitoring, generation and sharing of EFA information, and the formation of sub-national groups, as well as establishing networks with regional and subregional organizations.
 
A detailed proposal for the preparation of the EFA national plan of action is expected by 15 April 2001. A draft national plan of action will be ready by December 2001 and the final plan of action by December 2002.
UNESCO Kathmandu is actively involved in the process. On 1 December 2000 it organized a first meeting on the follow-up to the Dakar Framework for Action with the participation of UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank. Efforts will now be made to mobilize civil society groups and non-governmental organization in line with the Dakar Framework. The Donors Group for Education in Nepal will discuss EFA matters during its next meeting on 15 February 2001. Finally, the UNESCO Office has translated and published the Dakar Framework in Nepalese for a wide distribution and a local publicity campaign on the Framework has started through the local media.
 
Contact: Mr Yoshiaki Kitamura, Director, UNESCO Nepal
E-mail: y.kitamura@unesco.org
 
Pakistan
 
The official launching of the Dakar EFA follow-up in Pakistan took place during a national conference on 15 January 2001 in Islamabad. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Education. UNESCO Islamabad provided the necessary technical and logistic support for this event. More information will be given in the next issue of the Bulletin Board.
 
Contact: Mr P. K. Kasaju, Director, UNESCO Islamabad
E-mail: unesco@isb.compol.com
 
Hot off the press
 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland has published a booklet on special needs education entitled 'Meeting Special/Diverse Educational Needs - Making Inclusive Education a Reality'. Based on papers delivered at the Strategy Session organized during the World Education Forum (Dakar, Senegal, April 2000), the booklet can be consulted at the following Internet address:http://global.finland.fi/english/publications/index.html
 
 
The final report of the seminar on the contribution of non-governmental organizations and civil society groups to the Education for All goals in sub-Saharan Africa held in Bamako, Mali, from 29 November to 2 December 2000 is now available and attached to this Bulletin Board. Also attached is the Platform on “Promoting Achievements Made in Reaching the Education for All Goals in Africa” adopted by the seminar participants. The seminar was organized jointly by UNESCO and the World Bank within the framework of the United Nations' Special Initiative for Africa.
 
 
Information Contact: Anne Muller (a.muller@unesco.org)