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Latest news > Newflash on the E9 countries


N 8 / March 2001

The E-9 Initiative has accelerated considerably over the past year. The E-9 countries met in Recife, Brazil, (February 2000) to review results of the EFA 2000 Assessment. The Recife Declaration was adopted, putting the focus on the role of new information technologies in basic education, and stressing the importance of gender, teacher training, literacy and adult education. These concerns and commitments were strongly defended by the E-9 countries during the World Education Forum Dakar, April 2000. Furthermore the E-9 Initiative was financially reinforced by UNESCO, which considerably improved E-9 country programming as well as the scope of joint programmes. This newsletter provides you with a glimpse of major events, projects and publications that have occurred during the past few months and also of upcoming events.

E-9 meet in Beijing

In 2001 the principal E-9 event will be the Ministerial Review Meeting, scheduled to take place in Beijing, China, 21-23 August 2001. China is hosting this meeting to offer a forum to the E-9 more than a year after Dakar, to review their action, discuss national EFA plans and adopt a document to confirm their determination to promote EFA. Ministers will benefit from an expert meeting to be held before the Ministerial review meeting, focusing on "New Technologies and Distance Education for Basic Education to Reach the Unreached".

Meetings and Training in South-Asia

For the first time three E-9 countries in South-Asia are reaching out to neighbouring countries by organising a series of training workshops in three key areas: i) planning and management in basic education; ii) curriculum development and change (UNESCO New Delhi); iii) measuring learning achievement (UNESCO Islamabad); iv) implementing literacy and non-formal education policies (UNESCO Dhaka). Training workshops are to bring together at least 6 to 8 experts from each country. The training cycle should be finished by early 2002.

Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are also taking the lead in the forthcoming South Asia EFA Forum, where all countries from South-Asia, including Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, will report on action since Dakar. Countries are also planning to set up a sub-regional EFA Forum, loosely structured, to monitor EFA progress. The Meeting will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal, 10-12 April 2001.

Education for girls

In the context of the UN Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI), UNESCO has launched a joint E-9 study. At national level the project consists of taking stock of existing achievements and bottlenecks, identifying policies adopted to facilitate access to education by all girls, and checking if implementation procedures match adopted policies and plans. A synthesis study, on the basis of national findings will not only summarize the lessons learnt and good practices, but will also develop proposals for pro-active policies and programmes to achieve EFA for girls.

Development of Post-Literacy Strategies

In the context of the up-coming UN-Literacy Decade, a joint E-9 programme on post-literacy has been initiated in Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Pakistan to assist them in the development of strategies for post-literacy. Activities begin with a comprehensive survey on provision, programmes, participants and outcomes of post literacy at national or district level. Based on the results of the survey, further activities are planned, such as support to capacity building and the development of training materials for educators. Each participating country will adapt the programme to its local needs. At the end of the activities, a seminar will be organized to exchange national experiences.

Monitoring Non-Formal Education (NFE)

UNESCO will be implementing a project aimed at strengthening the EFA monitoring system by establishing or upgrading the Non-Formal Education Management Information System (NFE-MIS) in the E-9 countries.

One of the shortcomings underlined by the EFA 2000 Assessment is that the current EFA monitoring system is mainly based on formal education. Little data on NFE is available and often there is non-policy as concerns this sub-sector. The important role played by NFE programmes to attain the EFA goals is underestimated. Monitoring NFE is crucial, particularly for the E-9 countries, which account for more than 40% of the world's out-of-school children and almost 70% of the world's illiterate adults. NFE remains the only learning alternative for these populations.

Initial stocktaking of existing efforts in this area is taking place as well as conceptual work. As a next step, a project for developing a comprehensive information system for the monitoring, management, co-ordination, planning and promotion of NFE in the E-9 countries will be implemented.

Distance Education

"Increasing modern technology and distance learning in all aspects of EFA" is one of the main goals adopted by the E-9 in Recife last year. In that perspective, a UNESCO/E-9 publication on, Distance Education in the E-9 countries, will be published shortly. This comparative overview of nine national studies on Distance Education was prepared by the International Research Foundation for Open Learning (IRFOL) in collaboration with Ministers of Education and others educators working in the E-9. Its conclusions will also serve as a basis for the discussions in the preliminary expert meeting in Beijing next August.

Furthermore, a series of studies are being run on learning achievement in teacher training through distance learning in Brazil, India, Nigeria. Their conclusions will enable the drawing up of policy guidelines from a comparative review of experiences.

Country Activities


An activity on the development of Easy-to-Read Materials for Neo-Literates on World Heritage Sites has been launched. The objective is to promote knowledge of World Heritage Sites at the basic education level, in particular for the non-formal education sector through integrating information on national sites into reading materials for neo-literates. Three different sets of materials will be developed and produced in the national language. Even though designed for non-formal education programmes, the materials may also be used for formal primary schools.

A study on the Consequences of Literacy in Rural Areas Especially for Women has been initiated. The main objective of this research project is to obtain information on the process of change through the eradication of illiteracy at both the individual and collective level. Two villages of comparable socio-cultural and economic status in Punjab province were chosen, with the difference being that in one village, a majority of women are literate and in the second one, none of them are. The study focuses on socio-demographic and economic parameters such as, a change of attitude towards family and education, autonomy and participation in community life and, insertion in employment and income generating activities.


Brazil voted its national action plan for education on 9th January 2001. All stakeholders (civil society, government and congress) participated in setting up guidelines, goals and priorities to be met during the next decade, in accordance with the EFA goals established in Dakar. The principal objectives of the plan aim at ensuring primary education for all, eradicating young and adult illiteracy, expanding secondary and higher education, ensuring a greater access to quality education for early childhood, valorizing teachers and developing reliable and accountable information and evaluation systems.

Publications Women as Educators, and Women's Education in E-9 Countries is a comparative study on the various dimensions of women's role in education and in the society. Now available in three languages (English, French, Spanish).

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