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Education for All (EFA)

An international initiative first launched at the ‘World Conference on Education for All’ (Jomtien, Thailand, 1990) by UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank. Participants endorsed an 'expanded vision of learning' and pledged to universalize primary education and massively reduce illiteracy by the end of the decade. Ten years later, with many countries far from having reached this goal, a broad coalition of national governments, civil society groups, and development agencies met again in Dakar, Senegal, and affirmed the commitment to achieving EFA by the year 2015. They identified six key education goals which aim to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015 (e.g. the Dakar Framework for Action). The six goals are: (a) expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children; (b) ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, those in difficult circumstances, and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality; (c) ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes; (d) achieve a 50% improvement in adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults; (e) eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls' full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality; and (f) improve all aspects of the quality of education and ensure the excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills. (Source: World Education Forum 2000).

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