2.1.3 World Education Forum

At the World Education Forum, held in April 2000 in Dakar, Senegal, more than 180 countries adopted a Framework for Action, comprising six “Education for All” (EFA) goals:

1) Expand 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 childrenfrom 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 programs;

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; and

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.26

The EFA goals are monitored on an annual basis by UNESCO.

A mid-term monitoring report published in 2007 found that with regard to Goal 5, disparities had been reduced, and about a third of countries with available data had achieved gender parity. The Framework sees ICTs as some of the main tools for achieving these goals:

71. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) must be harnessed to support EFA goals at an affordable cost. These technologies have great potential for knowledge dissemination, effective learning, and the development of more efficient education services.

72. The swiftness of ICT developments, their increasing spread and availability, the nature of their content and their declining prices are having major implications for learning. They may tend to increase disparities, weaken social bonds and threaten cultural cohesion. Governments will therefore need to establish clearer policies in regard to science and technology, and undertake critical assessments of ICT experiences and options. These should include their resource implications in relation to the provision of basic education, emphasizingchoices that bridge the 'digital divide', increase access and quality, and reduce inequity.

73. There is need to tap the potential of ICTs to enhance data collection and analysis, and to strengthen management systems, from central ministries through sub-national levels to the school; to improve access to education by remote and disadvantaged communities; to support initial and continuing professional development of teachers; and to provide opportunities to communicate across classrooms and cultures.27

The2011 EFA Global Monitoring Report states that 67 million children were out of school worldwide in 2008. The report adds that to achieve EFA goals by 2015, 1.9 million qualified teachers are needed; more than half will be needed in the sub-Saharan Africa region alone.28

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