GOVERNMENTS ADOPT FRAMEWORK
FOR ACTION AT THE WORLD EDUCATION FORUM
Senegal, 28 April - Delegates from 181 countries today adopted
a Framework for Action committing their governments to achieve
quality basic education for all, with a particular emphasis
on girls education and a pledge from donor countries and institutions
that "no country seriously committed to basic education will
be thwarted in the achievement of this goal by lack of resources."
1,500 participants at the World Education Forum emphasized that
while there had been significant progress in many countries,
it is not acceptable that more than 113 million children (mostly
girls) have no access to primary education, 880 million adults
are illiterate, gender discrimination continues to permeate
education systems and the quality of learning falls short of
the needs of societies.
Dakar Framework addresses the challenges of the twenty-first
century by focusing on the importance of girls' education, quality
learning and reaching those who continue to be excluded from
education (girls, working children, children of ethnic minorities,
and children affected by violence, conflict, disabilities and
was defined as a fundamental human right and the key to sustainable
development and peace. The participating governments committed
themselves to achieve the following goals:
and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education,
especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
2) Ensure that by 2015 all children, especially girls, children
in difficult circumstances, and from ethnic minorities have
access to and complete free and compulsory primary education
of good quality.
3) Ensure that the learning needs of all young people are
met through equitable access to appropriate learning and
life skills programmes.
4) Achieve a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult
literacy by 2015, especially for women as well as equitable
access to basic and continuing education for adults.
5) Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary
education by 2005 and achieve gender equality by 2015 -
with a special focus on ensuring full and equal access for
girls to basic education of good quality.
6) Improve all aspects of the quality of education to achieve
recognized and measurable learning outcomes for all-especially
in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.
order to achieve these goals, the delegates pledged to develop
accountable systems of educational governance and management,
implement education programmes to combat HIV/AIDS, meet the
needs of educational systems affected by armed conflict, create
safe and friendly schools, harness new information and communication
technologies and systematically monitor the progress towards
the goals. They also committed themselves to encourage the participation
of civil society in the monitoring and implementation of strategies
for educational development.
strategies will mainly be implemented through existing mechanisms,
primarily at the country level. Participating countries will
prepare a comprehensive National Educational for All (EFA) Plan
by 2002, at the latest, with the consultation of national civil
society. The plan will be prepared in the context of wider poverty
reduction and development strategies and will, among other things,
specify reforms, include mid-term performance indicators and
establish budget priorities for achieving the goals no later
than 2015. Concrete strategies for those currently excluded
from education will be identified.
activities to support national efforts will be based on existing
regional and sub-regional organizations, networks and initiatives,
and may be augmented when necessary. The United Nations Educational
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will serve as
the Secretariat, whereby the UNESCO Director General will annually
convene a small mobilizing group of highest level leaders from
governments, civil society and development agencies.
Sperling, economic adviser to the President of the United States,
announced at the Forum today that his government will increase
by 50% its bilateral funding for basic education this year.
He further said that the US administration will expand debt
relief to countries that make a commitment to basic education,
as well as insist that the final Dakar Framework of Action be
a top priority at the upcoming G-7 summit in Okinawa, Japan.
It was estimated that an additional USD8 billion a year in cost
was necessary to achieve EFA.
World Education Forum was a follow-up to the World Conference
on Education for All, which was convened in Jomtien, Thailand
in March 1990. It synthesized the results of a two year Education
for All Assessment which was conducted in 181 countries by national
teams in co-ordination with advisory groups from the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO, the United Nations
Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children's Fund
(UNICEF), the World Bank, bilateral donor agencies, development
banks and inter-governmental organizations.
of State and key decision makers from 181 countries participated
in the Dakar Forum, along with representatives from more than
100 international and grassroots NGOs. The convenors of the
Dakar meeting were UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, and the World
Bank. Participants included Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary-General;
Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS; Mark Malloch Brown,
Administrator of UNDP; Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of
UNESCO; Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF; Nafis Sadik,
Executive Director of the UNFPA; and James Wolfensohn, President
of the World Bank.
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