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Midway to the 2015 target date: meeting of the High Level Group on Education for All in Dakar

Two Heads of State, Ministers of Education from 15 countries, representatives of the main donor countries, multilateral organizations, representatives of civil society and the private sector will meet from 11 to 13 December in Dakar (Senegal) to examine the different means of accelerating progress towards the six goals of Education for All (EFA) set by 164 countries in Dakar in 2000.

The president of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, and the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, will open the meeting chaired by Senegal’s Minister of Education, Moustapha Sourang. During the opening ceremony, the president of Mali, Amadou Toumani Touré, will also give a keynote speech.

The seventh annual meeting of the High Level Group on Education for All is taking place at the halfway point to 2015, which is the target date 164 countries have set to achieve the six EFA goals. According to the 2008 edition of the Global Monitoring Report on Education for All, which has just been released, the number of children, especially girls, starting primary school has increased sharply, but the poor quality of education, the high cost of schooling and the high level of adult illiteracy are undermining chances of achieving education for all by 2015.

Since 2000, Africa has accomplished huge progress towards implementing universal primary schooling. Between 1999 and 2005, primary school enrolment increased by 36% in sub-Saharan Africa, but certain countries remain behind and in 2005, most of them had not succeeded in eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education. Moreover the region still counts 33 million children out of school.

The High Level Group meeting aims to generate new political and financial support in favour of the EFA goals. The participants will pay particular attention to themes such as the quality of education, the financing of basic education and inclusive education.

The Global Monitoring Report on Education for All 2008 will be presented during a press conference on 11 December at 12 noon at the Sofitel Dakar Teranga Hotel. Moustapha Sourang, Minister of Education of Senegal, Nicholas Burnett, Director of the 2008 edition of the Report and UNESCO’s Assistant Director–General for Education, and Komlavi Francisco Seddoh, Director ad interim of UNESCO’s regional Office in Dakar, will participate in the conference. Another press conference will take place at the same place on 13 December from 4 p.m. to 5p.m., at the end of the High Level Group meeting.


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