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Education for All and Millennium Development Goals

In 1990 at the World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand, representatives of the international community from 155 countries, as well as representatives from 150 organizations agreed to "universalize primary education and massively reduce illiteracy by the end of the decade".

In 2000, with many countries being far from having reached this goal, the international community met again in the 2000 World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal. They affirmed their commitment to achieving Education for All (EFA) 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. NEA was a member of EI delegation in the meeting.

The six EFA goals can be summarized as follows:

  • Expand early childhood care and education
  • Provide free and compulsory primary education for all
  • Promote learning and life skills for young people and adults
  • Increase adult literacy by 50%
  • Achieve gender parity by 2005 and gender equality by 2015
  • Improve the quality of education

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have led the EFA global movement since 1990. The annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report first published in 2002, has played a vital role in reporting progress.

United Nations (UN) Millennium Declaration ( PDF, 139 KB, 9 pg.) was adopted in September 2000, aiming to reduce extreme poverty and setting the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (insert link with a targeted deadline of 2015. Two of the MDGs directly deal with education:

    • Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education
      Target 2.A: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
    • Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
      Target 3.A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015

Despite efforts by the U.S. and the international community, over 57 million children of primary school age (53% of them girls) and 69 million adolescents are still out of school. 774 million adults, two-thirds of them women, remain illiterate. 250 million children – nearly 40 percent of the world’s children of primary school age – cannot read, write, or count. We must continuing work together to get all children into school and learning.

Meet Ami

Ami wants to be a pilot. She knows that education is essential. Watch her story and use your voice to stand up for the dreams of all children and youth around the world.