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Dakar Framework to Action and Commitment for All

Education for All (EFA)

In April 2000 more than 1,100 participants from 164 countries gathered in Dakar, Senegal, for
the World Education Forum. Ranging from teachers to prime ministers, academics to
policymakers, non-governmental bodies to the heads of major international organizations, they
adopted the Dakar Framework for Action, Education for All: Meeting Our Collective
Commitments. This document reaffirms the goal of education for all as laid out by the World
Conference on Education for All (Jomtien, Thailand, 1990) and other international conferences.
It commits governments to achieving quality basic education for all by 2015 or earlier, with
particular emphasis on girls' education, and includes 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".

Why is education important?

Education beats poverty: one extra year of schooling increases a persons

earnings by up to 10%. 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all
students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills.
Education promotes gender equality by helping women control how many
children they have. In Mali, women with secondary education or higher have an
average of three children, while those with no education have an average of seven
Education reduces child mortality: a child born to a mother who can read is
50% more likely to survive past age five. In Indonesia, child vaccination rates are
19% when mothers have no education and 68% when mothers have at least
secondary school education.
Education contributes to improved maternal health: women with higher
levels of education are most likely to delay and space out pregnancies, and to seek
health care and support.
Education helps combat HIV, malaria and other preventable diseases. In
addition, it facilitates access to treatment and fights against stigma and
Education encourages environmental sustainability. It allows people make
decisions that meet the needs of the present without compromising those of future
generations. The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD),
launched in 2005, urges countries to rethink education, curricula and teaching
practice in ways that complement the drive to achieve EFA.
Education helps global development. An estimated $16 billion in aid is needed
annually to reach the EFA goals in poor countries. However, in 2008 poor countries
received only $2 billion in aid for basic education. The worldwide military
expenditure for 2009 was $1.5 trillion.

Education for All (EFA)

Education is a right, like the right to have proper food or a roof over your head. Article
26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the
right to education. Education is not only a right but a passport to human development.
It opens doors and expands opportunities and freedoms. It contributes to fostering
peace, democracy and economic growth as well as improving health and reducing
poverty. The ultimate aim of Education for All (EFA) is sustainable development.
In the year 2000, the worlds governments adopted the six EFA goals and the eight
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the two most important frameworks in the field
of education. The education priorities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are shaped by these objectives.

Education for All Goals

1. Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education,
especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
2. Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult
circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and
complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality.
3. Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through
equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes.
4. Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015,
especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for
all adults.
5. Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary Education by 2005, and
achieving gender equality in education in 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls
full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.
6. Improving all aspects of the quality of education, and ensuring excellence of all
so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all,
especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

Education for All is a basic human right at the heart of development. It must be a
national and international priority that requires a strong and sustained political
commitment, enhance financial allocation and the participation of all EFA partners in the
processes of policy design, strategic planning and the implementation of programmes.

1. Mobilize strong national and international political commitment for Education for
All, develop national action plans and enhance significantly investment in basic
2. Promote EFA policies within a sustainable and well-integrated sector framework
clearly linked to poverty elimination and development strategies.
3. Ensure the engagement and participation of civil society in the formulation,
implementation and monitoring of strategies for educational development.
4. Develop responsive, participatory and accountable system of educational
governance and management.
5. Meet the needs of education system affected by conflict, natural calamities and
instability and conduct educational programmes in ways that promote mutual
understanding, peace and tolerance, and that help to prevent violence and
6. Implement integrated strategies for gender equality in education that recognize
the need for changes in attitudes, values and practices.
7. Implement as a matter of urgency education programmes and actions to combat
the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
8. Create safe, healthy, inclusive and equitable resourced educational environments
conducive to excellence in learning, with clearly defined levels of achievements
for all.
9. Enhance the status, morale and professionalism of teachers.
10. Harness new information and communication technologies to help achieve EFA
11. Systematically monitor progress towards EFA goals and strategies at the
national, regional, and international levels.
12. Build on existing mechanisms to accelerate progress towards Education for All.
"Basic learning needscomprise both essential learning toolsand the basic learning
content required by human beings to be able to survive, to develop their full capacities,
to live and work in dignity, to participate fully in development, to improve the quality of
their lives, to make informed decisions, and to continue learning." (World Declaration on
Education for All, Article 1, paragraph 1).