Education For All
In 2000, NEA was a member of the Education International delegation to the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, where world leaders made commitments to achieving universal primary Education for All by the year 2015. Six key education goals were articulated:
- Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children
- Ensure that by 2015 all children have access to high quality primary education
- Ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programs
- Increase levels of adult literacy by 50 percent, especially for women
- Achieve gender equality and ensuring girls' full and equal access
- Improve the quality of education, especially in literacy, mathematics, and essential life skills.
At the current pace of progress this target will not be me by 2015 Unless we take action, more children will be out of school in 2015 than in 2008
Setting the Global Context
In the United States, a public education is guaranteed by law and schooling is required until at least age 16. However, this is not the case worldwide. Many who want and need a quality education will never receive one. Consider these statistics:
- Nearly 70 million children currently lack access to primary school around the world. More than half of those children are girls.
- According to the United Nations Development Program, if we do nothing, it could take more than 50 years to achieve universal primary enrollment in the Arab states and 100 years in the Sub-Saharan states.
- A single year of primary school increases the wages an individual earns later in life by 5 to 15 percent for boys—and even more for girls.
- Universal basic education can influence health outcomes by decreasing the number of HIV infections per year by as much as 700,000 worldwide.
- Every additional year of schooling reduces a young man’s risk of becoming involved in conflict by 20 percent.
Of those who attend school, many will leave after a short period of time—it is estimated that 20 percent of students in Sub-Saharan Africa and as many as 150 million children currently in school worldwide will drop out before completing primary education.
Education for All Act
The Education for All Act of 2011 has been introduced by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA). The bill would ensure that the U.S. provides the resources and leadership necessary to contribute to a successful international effort to provide all children with a quality basic education. Currently, the Obama administration has not made education a development priority.
What does the Education for All Act Do?
The EFA bill seeks to ensure the U.S. policy contributes to a successful international effort to provide all children with a quality basic education.
To achieve the goal of universal quality basic education, the EFA Act lays out U.S. policy that includes working with other countries, international organizations, and civil society to:
- assist developing countries and strengthen their educational systems;
- assist NGOs and multilateral organizations; and
- promote education as the foundation for community development.
For more information on the provisions of the EFA Act download the fact sheet from RESULTS
Educate Girls. Change the World