The contact point for ERP flagship in UNESCO is : [email protected]
 For  information about UNESCO:www.UNESCO.org

The International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) of UNESCO has a key role with FAO in the flagship

IIEP is a centre for training and research - specialized in educational planning and management
The International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) was created by UNESCO in 1963 in Paris, France. It is supported by grants from UNESCO and by voluntary contributions from Member States and others. IIEP is an integral part of UNESCO, yet it enjoys a large
amount of autonomy. The IIEP's goal is to help Member States improve the quality and effectiveness of their education systems. The Institute's core activities are training and research. It also provides services to
Member States on request. Recently IIEP has signed bilateral partnership agreements with some 20 institutions and set up a number of networks.

To find out more about IIEP:   http://www.unesco.org/iiep/eng/about/about.htm

UNESCO is the lead agency for the Education for ALL  initiative

The Education for All movement took off at the World Conference on Education for All in 1990. Since then, governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and the media have taken up the cause of providing basic education for all children, youth and adults.

To find out more about EFA:   http://www.unesco.org/education/efa/index.shtml

From Jomtien to Dakar: Ten Years of Education for All

In 1990, representatives from 155 countries and 150 organizations pledged to provide education for all by the year 2000 at the World Conference on Education for All (Jomtien, Thailand). Their intention was that children, youth and adults would "benefit from educational opportunities designed to meet their basic learning needs". The World Declaration on Education for All thus defined a bold new direction in education.

The Declaration rang the death-knell of rigid, prescriptive education systems and ushered in an era where flexibility could thrive. From now on, education would be tailor-made, adapted to the needs, culture and circumstances of learners. The decision to review progress a decade later was taken in Jomtien.

Two important milestones intervened in 1996. The Mid-Decade Conference held in Amman Jordan, noted that considerable progress had been made. Its weak reporting underlined the need for an in-depth assessment. The report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for The Twenty-first Century promoted a holistic view of education consisting of four "pillars": learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. The text was widely adopted.

The World Education Forum 2000

The Education for All decade culminated at the World Education Forum (26-28 April 2000, Dakar, Senegal) which adopted the Dakar Framework for Action Education for All: Meeting Our Collective Commitments. This document commits governments to achieving quality basic education for all by 2015, with particular emphasis on girls' schooling and 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.

The biggest review on education in history

The Dakar Framework for Action draws on the results of the global EFA 2000 Assessment involving more than 180 countries. Launched in 1998, this global exercise was the most comprehensive study ever made of basic education. It was carried out by national teams assisted by ten regional advisory groups, comprising UN agencies the World Bank, bilateral donor agencies, development banks and inter-governmental organizations.

Preliminary results were debated at five regional preparatory conferences and a special gathering of the nine high-population countries (E9) between December 1999 and February 2000 (in Johannesburg, South Africa; Bangkok, Thailand; Cairo, Egypt; Recife, Brazil; Warsaw, Poland; and Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic).

National assessments were complemented by fourteen thematic studies on educational issues of global concern, surveys on learning achievement and the conditions of teaching and learning, as well as twenty case-studies.

The findings

The assessment revealed a mixed scorecard. The number of children in school soared (from 599 million in 1990 to 681 million in 1998) and many countries were approaching full primary school enrolment for the first time. On the other hand, some 113 million children were out of school, discrimination against girls was widespread and nearly a billion adults, mostly women, were illiterate. The lack of qualified teachers and learning materials was the reality for too many schools.

While the donor community was criticized for dwindling aid commitment, some countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil and Egypt were earmarking close to 6 per cent of their gross national product (GNP) for education. For some African countries, education absorbs up to a third of the national budget, although several of them spend as much on debt repayment as on health and basic education combined.

Disparities in quality were also widespread. Over-conservative systems were out of touch with young people's needs, in sharp contrast with the plethora of initiatives that successfully adapted learning to local needs or reached out to marginalized populations. New media and virtual networks had also started to shake the dust off education systems.

Looking ahead

There are daunting challenges ahead: how to reach out with education to HIV/AIDS orphans in regions such as Africa where the pandemic is wreaking havoc; how to offer education to the ever-increasing number of refugees and displaced people; how to help teachers acquire a new understanding of their role and how to harness the new technologies to benefit the poor. And probably the most daunting challenge of all in a world with 700 million people living in forty-two highly indebted countries how to help education overcome poverty and give millions of children a chance to realize their full potential.

The Dakar Framework for Action gives the international community an opportunity to redefine education strategies to cope with the legacy of the 1990s and to help learning keep up with the pace of change.

Major texts pertaining to this movement are available in background documents and FAQ, which answers the most frequently asked questions about basic education worldwide.