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Briefing Notes to Members of Parlianment on Education For All
What is EFA?

Education For All (EFA) is founded on the principle that education is a fundamental human right. It provides children, youth and adults with the power to reflect, make choices and enjoy a better life. It breaks the cycle of poverty and is a key ingredient in economic and social development.

The World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand in 1990, placed basic education high on the development agenda.

While substantial progress has been made in terms of increase in the school attendance rate for children and higher adult literacy rates, Education for All continues to face major challenges as levels of illiteracy worldwide continue to be high, especially in the developing world. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has compounded this situation and girls and women are most at risk.

The Dakar Framework for Action adopted in April 2000 at the World Education Forum seeks to respond to these challenges. It sets out the goals and strategies for achieving EFA.

Goals of EFA

• Expand early childhood care and education
• Free and compulsory education of good quality by 2015
• Promote the acquisition of life skills by adolescents and youth
• Expand adult literacy by 50% by 2015
•Eliminate gender disparities by 2005 and achieve gender equality in education by 2015

Attainment of the above goals requires strong political commitment. The Members of Parliament (MP) can provide that impetus by making use of the legislative, oversight, budgetary and representational powers conferred on the parliament in the following strategic ways:

• Mobilise strong national and international commitment, contribute to development of national action plans, and increase investment in basic education.

• See to it that the government puts in place an integrated framework for EFA including poverty elimination and development.

• Engage civil society in formulation, implementation and monitoring of educational development strategies.

• Ensure that the government implements responsive, participatory and accountable systems in the field of education.

• Pay special attention to the needs of education systems affected by conflicts, natural calamities and instability; emphasise mutual understanding, peace and tolerance as ways of preventing violence and conflict.

• Mainstream gender into educational policies and programmes.

• Contribute to the war against HIV/AIDS.

• Ensure that more resources are allocated to the creation of safe, healthy, inclusive and equitably resourced educational environments conducive to excellence in learning. In this connection, allocate more resources to the building and equipping of schools, creating a conducive environment for teachers by enhancing their status, morale and professionalism.

• Ensure that the government makes use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the implementation of its EFA programmes.

• Put in place mechanisms for monitoring progress towards EFA goals and strategies at national level.

The Members of Parliament (MP) can contribute through ensuring that the appropriate legislative framework (laws, acts, decrees, action plans, etc) is in place for the achievement of these strategies. During consideration of the State budget, the MP can insist on more financial resources being allocated to the education sector. The MP can also ensure that the government reports to parliament, at least on annual basis, on its activities in the education sector.

At the local level, the MP can initiate and implement community-based projects in the education sector and organize campaigns towards community support for education-related projects.

Prepared by:
Unesco Islamabad

To The Pakistan National Education Conferencce-1947
“I am glad that the Pakistan Educational Conference is being held today in Karachi. I welcome you to the capital of Pakistan and wish you every success in your deliberations which I sincerely hope will bear fruitful and practical results.”

You know that the importance of Education and the right type of education, cannot be over-emphasized. Under foreign rule for over a century, sufficient attention has not been paid to the education of our people and if we are to make real, speedy and substantial progress, we must earnestly tackle this question and bring our educational policy and programme on the lines suited to the genius of our people, consonant with our history and culture and having regard to the modern conditions and vast developments that have taken place all over the world.

There is no doubt that the future of our State will and must greatly depend upon the type of education we give to our children and the way in which we bring then up as future citizens of Pakistan. Education does not merely mean academic education. There is immediate and urgent need for giving scientific and technical education to our people in order to build up our future economic life and to see that our people take to science, commerce, trade and particularly well-planned industries. We should not forget that we have to compete with the world which is moving very fast in this direction.

At the same time we have to build up the character of our future generation. We should try, by sound education, to instill into them the highest sense of honour, integrity, responsibility and self-less service to the nation. We have to see that they are fully qualified and equipped to play their part in the various branches of national life in a manner which will do honour to Pakistan.”

  13/07/2006 (UNESCO Paris) - Just published in Spanish and Arabic: ‘Scaling up’ good practices in girls’ education
  12/07/2006 (UNESCO Paris) - UN agencies discuss Global Action Plan on Education for All
  Just published: Report of Ministerial Meeting on Education for All
06/07/2005 - The report of a ministerial round table gives a unique summary of the way forward for the Education for All movement.
  Achieving Results in Education For All
04/07/2006 - Continual progress in the tracking of Education For All (EFA) goals is the centre of discussions this week at a meeting of EFA coordinators in Eastern Africa (Nairobi, Kenya, 4 to 7 July, 2006).
  Roundtable on Education for Sustainable Development in the Northern Caribbean (28-29 June)
28/06/2006 - A Roundtable on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will take place in Jamaica today and tomorrow. The aim is to reorient educators in the Caribbean to infuse ESD in teaching and learning curricula.
  UNESCO Institute for Education to change names in July
21/06/2006 - The new name, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), is more closely aligned with the Institute’s objectives and activities.
  Kenya Surveys its Adult Literacy Rate
20/06/2006 - Kenya has launched a national sample survey to provide information and data on literacy attainment among youth and adults.
  UNESCO trains literacy workers in Afghanistan
29/05/2006 - (UNESCO Kabul) - UNESCO trained 20 Master trainers last week on the use of literary primers as part of the Literacy and Non-formal Education Development in Afghanistan project (LAND AFGHAN).
Just Published: The Impact of Women Teachers on Girls' Education
23/05/2006 - A new advocacy brief from UNESCO Bangkok looks the recruitment of women teachers, drawing on research and practice from different contexts. It highlights the importance of women teachers, and also the need for a broad gender equality perspective when developing policy and programmes for women teachers.
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