News bulletin board of UNESCO's Education Sector
No. 3
 
Welcome to the electronic news bulletin board of UNESCO's Education Sector, informing you about UNESCO's follow-up activities to the World Education Forum in Dakar (April 2000). The bulletin board currently exists in English, but will shortly be available in French as well. Please forward it to other interested colleagues.
 

Contents (4 August 2000)

- Country guidelines now on the table

- UNESCO establishes informal secretariat on EFA

- NGO participation in working group on Education for All

- UNICEF visits UNESCO to discuss new Global Agenda for Children

- Electronic mailing list in process - your help would be appreciated

- Summer break for bulletin board

 
Country guidelines on the preparation of national EFA plans of action
 
  The Dakar Framework for Action states it very clearly: the heart of EFA activity lies at the country level. UNESCO has now prepared a set of guidelines, giving countries a roadmap of how to accelerate Education for All efforts at national level.
 
 "We are happy to share with you these guidelines, which are an important tool for ensuring meaningful and efficient follow-up to Dakar," comments Jacques Hallak, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO.
 
 The guidelines, attached to this bulletin board, provide recommendations and advice to countries on how to establish national EFA forums and generate credible national EFA action plans by 2002 at the latest. Noting that they are not "a perfect recipe" or "a magic formula" that should be applied mechanically in every county, the guidelines emphasize that "Each country has the responsibility for fulfilling the version of Education for All it chooses for itself. Each country's guidelines should reflect this sense of responsibility and become one means through which national ownership and direction of EFA efforts are pursued".
 
An earlier draft of the country guidelines was shared with the heads of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank, and their comments have been incorporated in the present draft. A final version of the document will be available in September 2000 and will be widely distributed in all countries.
 
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UNESCO establishes informal secretariat on EFA
 
 An informal technical secretariat has been established under the office of UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Education to co-ordinate follow-up activities to the Dakar Forum. The team of about ten professional staff members is drawn from all parts of the Education Sector.
 
 Participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in working group on Education for All.
 
  In a letter of 28 July 2000 addressed to the NGO community, UNESCO outlined how non-governmental organizations will participate in the working group on Education for All currently being established. The working group will comprise four to six NGO representatives selected by UNESCO on the basis of their contributions to the EFA 2000 Assessment and of extensive consultations with members of the NGO community.
 
Membership of the working group will be on a rotating basis and, since the focus of the Dakar Framework for Action is on action at country level, three to four seats will go to national NGOs from different regions and one or two to international NGOs/NGO networks.
 
The names of the selected NGO representatives will be communicated to you in September. The working group of some thirty members will also include representatives of developing countries, and bilateral and multilateral agencies, as well as representatives of regional networks, the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the G-8. Its first meeting, scheduled for November 2000, will be chaired by UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Education.
 
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UNICEF visits UNESCO to discuss new Global Agenda for Children
 
This week Sheldon Shaeffer, Chief of Education in UNICEF, visited UNESCO Paris to discuss preparations for the General Assembly's Special Session on Children to be held in September 2001.
 
Mr Shaeffer met with key people in UNESCO's Education Sector and discussions focused mainly on the education component of a new Global Agenda for Children, including specific objectives, targets, strategies and indicators, to be adopted at next year's meeting. The first draft of this document is currently being written in UNICEF.
 
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Electronic mailing list in process - your help would be appreciated
 
We would like to make sure that this bulletin board reaches everyone interested in the Education for All movement. We should therefore be grateful if you could send us the e-mail addresses of colleagues in your organization wishing to receive information on Dakar follow-up. If you do not want to receive the bulletin board, please return this message to sender, indicating 'unsubscribe' in Subject box.
 
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Summer break for bulletin board
This is the last bulletin board before the holiday season starts in Paris. We will get back to you in mid-September with more news about UNESCO's follow-up activities to the World Education Forum in Dakar. Happy holidays!
 
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Information Contact: Anne Muller (a.muller@unesco.org)