|What is EFA?
Education For All (EFA) is founded on the principle that education
is a fundamental human right. It provides children, youth and
adults with the power to reflect, make choices and enjoy a better
life. It breaks the cycle of poverty and is a key ingredient
in economic and social development.
World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand
in 1990, placed basic education high on the development agenda.
While substantial progress has been made in terms
of increase in the school attendance rate for children and
higher adult literacy rates, Education for All continues to
face major challenges as levels of illiteracy worldwide continue
to be high, especially in the developing world. The HIV/AIDS
pandemic has compounded this situation and girls and women
are most at risk.
The Dakar Framework for Action adopted in April
2000 at the World Education Forum seeks to respond to these
challenges. It sets out the goals and strategies for achieving
Goals of EFA
• Expand early childhood care and education
• Free and compulsory education of good quality by 2015
• Promote the acquisition of life skills by adolescents
• Expand adult literacy by 50% by 2015
•Eliminate gender disparities by 2005 and achieve gender
equality in education by 2015
Attainment of the above goals requires strong
political commitment. The Members of Parliament (MP) can provide
that impetus by making use of the legislative, oversight,
budgetary and representational powers conferred on the parliament
in the following strategic ways:
• Mobilise strong national and international
commitment, contribute to development of national action plans,
and increase investment in basic education.
• See to it that the government puts in
place an integrated framework for EFA including poverty elimination
• Engage civil society in formulation,
implementation and monitoring of educational development strategies.
• Ensure that the government implements
responsive, participatory and accountable systems in the field
• Pay special attention to the needs of
education systems affected by conflicts, natural calamities
and instability; emphasise mutual understanding, peace and
tolerance as ways of preventing violence and conflict.
• Mainstream gender into educational policies
• Contribute to the war against HIV/AIDS.
• Ensure that more resources are allocated
to the creation of safe, healthy, inclusive and equitably
resourced educational environments conducive to excellence
in learning. In this connection, allocate more resources to
the building and equipping of schools, creating a conducive
environment for teachers by enhancing their status, morale
• Ensure that the government makes use
of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the
implementation of its EFA programmes.
• Put in place mechanisms for monitoring
progress towards EFA goals and strategies at national level.
The Members of Parliament (MP) can contribute
through ensuring that the appropriate legislative framework
(laws, acts, decrees, action plans, etc) is in place for the
achievement of these strategies. During consideration of the
State budget, the MP can insist on more financial resources
being allocated to the education sector. The MP can also ensure
that the government reports to parliament, at least on annual
basis, on its activities in the education sector.
At the local level, the MP can initiate and implement
community-based projects in the education sector and organize
campaigns towards community support for education-related