UNESCO GAW Activities Worldwide


©UNESCO/R. Dominique

UNESCO mobilized its field offices and numerous EFA partners, including members of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet), to take part in 2010 Global Action Week (19-25 April), whose theme was “Financing quality public education for all”.  

Activities were planned within the following regions:


Democratic Republic of Congo – The UNESCO office in Kinshasa took advantage of GAW to launch the French version of the GMR 2010, and thus bring to the attention of Governmental, Bilateral and Multilateral partners, Parliamentarians, Civil Society representatives and other education experts the particular challenges of education financing and marginalized populations as they pertain to the DRC.

Senegal - On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the World Education Forum in Dakar, Solidarité Laïque and the Diambars Centre co-hosted a 1GOAL football tournament on 23 April in M’Bour, Senegal. Similar to the 1GOAL activities organized in France, this event began with a reading on education, sports and human rights followed by a symbolic kick-off and signing of a “game sheet” that called for support to EFA. The event also gathered representatives from Civil Society Organizations of several countries to discuss the challenges related to EFA.

Swaziland – A media campaign was organized by UNESCO Windhoek Cluster Office in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Training and the Swaziland National Association of Teachers on the occasion of GAW, during which media houses broadcasted messages about several issues concerning the EFA agenda, focusing in particular on the theme of financing education. This public awareness campaign was reinforced by a public march on 21 April in Manzini.

Arab States

Iraq – A number of events were organized throughout Iraq by UNESCO, in partnership with the Ministry of Education. UNESCO ASPnet and community learning centres in Iraq participated in the world's largest school lesson "1GOAL: Lesson for All" on 20 April. A message was broadcast from the Minister of Education on the UNESCO-supported Educational Television Channel throughout the week, and printed materials highlighting the importance of education was distributed to literacy centres and schools.

Morocco – First and second year secondary school students from Moad Bnou Jabal, an ASPnet government school in Rabat, participated in the 1GOAL: Lesson for All on 20 April.


Asia and the Pacific

Bhutan – UNESCO New Delhi supported the Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with school ASPnet schools and coordinators to organize events for students, teachers and interested local communities around the theme of “Educating for Gross National Happiness”, and encourage the Royal Government of Bhutan to continue to give priority to education. Currently, the education sector receives the second highest percentage of funding from the Government. The school-based activities will run from GAW until July 2010 and will raise awareness of the value of education and encourage parents to send their children to school.

India - The National Coalition for Education led GAW activities, working alongside UNESCO, UNICEF, Plan International, Care India, Save the Children, Oxfam, Action Aid, Global March against Child Labour and other civil society partners.  Several activities, including a round table with Parliamentarians, cultural events involving famous artists and musicians, and school-based activities called on political leaders, parliamentarians and policy makers to invest in the future generation of their country, abolish fees that currently prevent many children from attending school, provide professional development opportunities to ensure the quality of teachers, and encourage parents to send their children to school rather than involving them in the world of work.

Mongolia – The UNESCO regional bureau in Beijing collaborated with the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of Mongolia and the Mongolian National Broadcasting TV to raise public awareness of EFA challenges. A TV Forum was organized, during which representatives of the Government of Mongolia, celebrities and others engaged in a debate on the challenges of financing education expenditures. The debate was broadcast nationally. A photo exhibition about EFA was also organized. 

Pakistan – Academia de Averroes, an ASPnet worked hard to create awareness and motivation among the community regarding the importance of education for underprivileged children. Taking advantage of GAW, the school organized the following events: an essay competition about the importance of literacy and quality teachers, a poster competition about EFA, an inter-school football tournament related to 1GOAL, and a fundraising event to purchase books for underprivileged children. 

ThailandThe UNESCO regional bureau in Bangkok collaborated with the Thailand National Commission for UNESCO and regional GCE coalition members to organize several activities that raised awareness about education financing challenges among concerned government officials and education donors. A roundtable on Education Financing in the Face of the Global Financial Crisis was organized in Thailand, which emphasized the importance of prioritizing education budgeting needs.

A video and other advocacy materials are also being produced to promote key EFA messages that specifically reflect the Asian context, for use throughout 2010 in regional activities. In particular, issues related to reaching the marginalized in education will be addressed.

Europe and North America

FranceA photo exhibition is taking place outside the gates of UNESCO Headquarters from 1-30 April 2010 on the theme of “Education for All”. A virtual gallery of images can be found here

Solidarité Laïque, the national GCE coalition in France, is assisting its partners, members and network in organizing several sports matches (football or other sports) between April and July. Each match will begin with a reading on education, sports or human rights, followed by a symbolic kick-off and signing of a “game sheet” that calls for support to EFA. A few well-known celebrities have been recruited to join the campaign, and will be called on to attend some of the sports matches and partake in a reading before the individual games.

Mr Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, participated in a live television debate on 22 April on France24 about the Education for All agenda, the Millennium Development Goals, Global Action Week and the 1GOAL campaign. Mr Tang was joined by Mr Charles Abugre, Deputy Director UN Millennium Campaign for Africa; Mr Ian Whitman, Head of the Programme for Co-operation with Non Member Economies, Directorate for Education, OECD; and Mr Claude Le Roy, a former French football player coach for several teams in Europe and Africa. The program also aired in the UK. ADG for Education live tv debate

LithuaniaOn 20 April, representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science, UNESCO staff, musicians, artists, parents and thousands of students in more than 80 schools across the country took part in the 1GOAL: Lesson for All. In conjunction to the lesson, a contest was launched for students to artistically express what EFA means to them. Another contest, ‘To Motivate in 10 Minutes’, invites teachers to creatively present ideas on how to motivate students who may not see the value of engaging in education.

Russia – 11 and 14 year old students at School 1289 in Moscow, an ASPnet school, participated in the 1GOAL: Lesson for All on 20 April, focusing specifically on the right to education and the challenges posed by lack of financial resources. The students then discussed proposed changes in the financing for the eduation system in the Russian Federation, exploring potential negative impacts.


Latin America and the Caribbean

Chile – The UNESCO Office in Santiago and the Chilean Forum for Quality Education for All (ECLAC) organized a public debate on ‘Education in Chile – a right or a privilege?” on 20 April to remind the Chilean authorities and the general public about the Dakar commitments to provide education of quality for all children as well as raise awareness about critical issues in the Chilean education system with regard to equity, quality and financing. Mr Jorge Sequeira, Director, UNESCO Santiago Office, was a member of the panel. Posters, flyers and campaigns were developed and disseminated to mobilize the general public. Special classes in schools around the country also take place during GAW, focused on the financing of education.

CubaSeveral ASPnet schools in Cuba participated in the 1GOAL: Lesson for All during the week of 26 April (annual school holidays fell during the official dates of GAW 2010).

Dominican Republic – The Dominican Republic ASPnet encouraged its schools to participate in the 1GOAL: Lesson for All, as well as to convene political representatives of the Ministries of Education and Finance, local government officials and others for debates on the theme of education. Football matches are also being organized in conjunction to the 1GOAL campaign, leading up to July 2010.  

Peru – Primary and secondary students from many schools in Lima, including ten ASPnet schools, joined the Peruvian Selection of Under 17 football players at the amphitheatre of the Parque de la Muralla on 20 April to call on Peruvian authorities to ensure that education remain a priority of the government agenda. Organizers of this event included the Latin American International Movement for Leisure Activities in Science and Technology, the Municipality of Lima and the Peruvian National Commission for UNESCO.

St. Kitts and Nevis - The St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO organized a series of Radio discussions, a poetry competition and a photo submissions contest to highlight the gains in education made in St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as the remaining challenges. GAW activities were launched by representatives from the Ministry of Education and included important media elements.