ⓘ Education For All

Education For All

ⓘ Education For All

Education For All is a global movement led by UNESCO, aiming to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015.

EFA was adopted by The Dakar Framework in April 2000 at the World Education Forum in Senegal, Africa, with the goal in mind that all children would receive primary education by 2015. Not all children receive the education they need or want, therefore this goal was put in place to help those children.

UNESCO has been mandated to lead the movement and coordinate the international efforts to reach Education for All. Governments, development agencies, civil society, non-government organizations and the media are but some of the partners working toward reaching these goals.

The EFA goals also contribute to the global pursuit of the eight Millennium Development Goals MDGs, especially MDG 2 on universal primary education and MDG 3 on gender equality in education, by 2015.

The Fast Track Initiative now called Global Partnership for Education was set up to implement the EFA movement, aiming at "accelerating progress towards quality universal primary education".

UNESCO also produces the annual Global Education Monitoring Report.



UNESCOaina caress works with others around the world to reach a mutual understanding for everyone to work well together. UNESCO coordinates international cooperation which allows access to education, grow and live in a diverse community, learn from advancements in technology, and freedom of expression. This cooperation allows UNESCO to work with others to create opportunities for children and other citizens around the world. Goals are created to provide all children with an elementary education, which is important to some families. Educational programs are also created through the cooperation.

Audrey Azoulay was elected as the Director-General on November 15, 2017 for a four-year term. Azoulay has priorities in place and one of the highest ones is education. Working with others will allow education programs to spread globally. Azoulay is working hard to make sure all these goals and cooperation are kept in line to help better the present and future for children and other citizens. She believes that these issues faced by countries cannot be met by one country alone, therefore working with different countries will make it more possible to solve these issues and meet goals.


1.1. UNESCO Partnerships

Partnerships are what helps UNESCO fix global challenges. These partnerships are managed very carefully to reassure that the goals set in place are met. UNESCO works in different ways with their partnerships such as collaboration, volunteers, advocacy, and consultations. By having these different ways of working with others, UNESCO is able to have many partnerships and have them globally. UNESCOs partners range from individuals to institutions all around the world. Some of them are governments, Private Sector companies, Goodwill Ambassadors, media organizations, corporate and philanthropic foundations, parliamentarians, the wider UN family, other intergovernmental organizations, specialized networks in UNESCO, and NGOs.

UNESCO offers many entry levels for partnerships, which are organizations that have leadership and goals/priorities set in place to achieve. Some examples of those are education, natural sciences, oceans, social and human sciences, culture, communication and information, priority Africa, and crisis and transition. Education is the top priority for UNESCO and they are working with EFA to create better education for all children and adults. The problem that comes from this is that every country is different and that reflects achieving these education goals. Countries differ in the quality of education due to economics and culture. This is where is a great need to strengthen finances, resources, and technology. Technology is booming in this time and that has an effect on how much education students have access to globally. Therefore, those areas need to be strengthened to ensure that education is top priority going into the future.


2. World Education Forum

In 2000, ten years later, the international community met again at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, an event which drew 1100 participants. The forum took stock of the fact that many countries were far from having reached the goals established at the World Conference on Education for All in 1990. The participants agreed on the Dakar Framework for Action which re-affirmed their commitment to achieving Education for All by the year 2015, and identified six key measurable education goals which aim to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. In addition, the forum reaffirmed UNESCOs role as the lead organization with the overall responsibility of coordinating other agencies and organizations in the attempts to achieve these goals. The six goals established in The Dakar Framework for Action, Education for All: Meeting Our Collective Commitments are:

  • Goal 1: Expand early childhood care and education
  • Goal 6: Improve the quality of education
  • Goal 4: Increase adult literacy by 50 percent
  • Goal 2: Provide free and compulsory primary education for all
  • Goal 3: Promote learning and life skills for young people and adults
  • Goal 5: Achieve gender parity by 2005, gender equality by 2015

In order to evaluate each countrys progress with regards to the EFAs goals set in the Dakar Framework for Action, UNESCO has developed the Education for All Development Index EDI. The EDI measures four of the six EFA goals, selected on the basis of data availability. Each of the four goals is evaluated using a specific indicator, and each of those components is then assigned equal weight in the overall index.

The EDI value for a given country is thus the arithmetic mean of the four indicators. Since they are all expressed as percentages, the EDI value can vary from 0 to 100% or, when expressed as a ratio, from 0 to 1. The higher the EDI value, the closer the country is to achieving Education For All as a whole.

The four goals measured in the EDI and their corresponding indicators are:

  • Goal 4: Increase adult literacy by 50 percent - Although existing data on literacy are not entirely satisfactory, the adult literacy rate for those aged 15 and above is used here as a proxy to measure progress.
  • Goal 1: Expand early childhood care and education - The indicator selected to measure progress towards this goal is the total primary net enrolment ratio NER, which measures the percentage of primary-school-age children who are enrolled in either primary or secondary school. Its value varies from 0 to 100%. Therefore, a NER of 100% means that all eligible children are enrolled in school.
  • Goal 5: Achieve gender parity by 2005, gender equality by 2015: The indicator selected to measure progress towards this goal is the gender-specific EFA index, the GEI, which is itself a simple average of the three gender parity indexes GPI for primary education, secondary education and adult literacy, with each being weighted equally. Therefore, it encompasses the two sub-goals of the original EFA goal: gender parity achieving equal participation of girls and boys in primary and secondary education and gender equality ensuring that educational equality exists between boys and girls proxied by the GPI for adult literacy
  • Goal 6: Improve the quality of education - The survival rate to Grade 5 was selected for as being the best available proxy for assessing the quality component of EDI, as comparable data are available for a large number of countries.

The EFA Global Monitoring Report published annually by UNESCO tracks progress on the six education goals. The 2015 review indicates that only a third of countries reached all the goals with measurable targets.


3. EFA and Inclusion

Inclusion is a main component that is used with EFA. Since EFA is a global movement all children are involved: different cultures, religions, disabilities, and more. The problem that is faced with inclusion is how different countries define disability. To be more specific the problem comes with the definition of special needs. This can affect how or if those students can meet the goals that are created. To make sure all children are included schools collaborate to see how all the children can meet the certain goals given. This area may be a challenging one for some and it comes down to what does the term "all" really mean in Education For All? That is an answer that will vary country to country and every where around the world. There have been predictions that by the year 2025 the number of children with disabilities will have risen. A majority of that number will be children in developing countries. Therefore, answers are needed on how to include all children in the learning and educational goals set. Similar to technology in schools, inclusion can grow and become more common in schools.


4. Meeting Goals

These goals set by the EFA were not able to be met by all. Some countries were unable to meet these goals due to conflict in the area. Conflicts can cause destruction and prevent children from even going to school or learning from home. There was a fear that certain countries would not be able to gain access to certain technology and support to meet these goals. Technology is a problem that countries run into with trying to improve education for children and even adults. As technology advances it is becoming a bigger key component in some schools. Depending on some areas technology is the central focus point to help students learn. In other areas that may not be the case. If technology keeps advancing that may have different affects on countries. Some may not be able to keep up with the advances and other may be able to keep up. This all goes back to financial stability and economics in each country. One of UNESCOs partners, World Bank worked with the countries that were most likely not going to meet the goals by the deadline 2015. World Bank provided these countries with support and in return they would get certain policy reforms. This allows countries to receive support to help achieve the educational goals. This can be helpful for countries that are less fortunate in financial and economic stability. Some of these countries that struggled were in East Africa: Kenya and Tanzania. When all the countries in East Africa had declared independence, then education became the priority for all. The problem became that those countries struggled with educational on literacy challenges.


4.1. Meeting Goals Recent UNESCO Updates

The UNESCO revealed in its 2017 Global Education Monitoring Report that around 264 million youngsters do not attend school. An additional $39 billion is needed annually to enhance the quality of schools worldwide. This will provide 2.2 billion children globally equal access to learning. At present, only 83 percent of students who attend school are able to finish elementary education and a low of 45 percent of kids 15 up to 17 years old complete the secondary level. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stated in an official statement that Education is a shared responsibility between us all: governments, schools, teachers, parents and private actors." Accountability describes how mentors teach, students learn, and bureaucracies take action. The World Bank said in 2017 that millions of learners from different parts of the world in underdeveloped and developing nations are confronted with problems of lost opportunities and low wages since primary as well as secondary schools fail in educating these students properly.


4.2. Meeting Goals Gender parity

Over the past 25 years, substantial progress has been made towards achieving gender parity in efforts to improve girls’ education, including policies and programmes aimed at changing social attitudes, providing financial support to female students and making schools more accessible. The fifth goal of the Education for All programme envisaged achieving parity by 2005, a target that was missed; however, continuous progress was made throughout the 1990s and 2000s, with the result that parity was reached in 2009 in primary and secondary education and had almost been achieved in youth literacy by 2016. Gender disparity to the disadvantage of females remained in adult literacy, where 63% of illiterate adults are female. And in tertiary education, gender disparity flipped to the disadvantage of males: As early as 2004, men became less likely than women to participate at the tertiary level.