North-South Action Group urges Education for All be made a reality

MONTREAL, June 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The Policy Action Group on Learning (PAG-L) of the Commission on Globalisation has released a critical review of the progress being made on the international initiative known as Education for All (EFA). The report entitled Education for All: What would it take to become a success? was presented today at the International Economic Forum of the Americas/Conference of Montreal.

Despite progress and advancements in some countries, the report notes that overall the six key goals aimed at achieving EFA, established in 2000 by the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, will not be reached by the stated timeline of 2015.

PAG-L members also expressed concern that the looming failure of the EFA initiative does not appear to be on the agenda of the G-8 and G-20 meetings being held later this month. They are calling on the leaders of all participating countries to review the recommendations made in this report and use the opportunity of their upcoming meetings to discuss the future of the global EFA initiative.

"Our report outlines why there is more cause for concern than for rejoicing and why the goals of the World Education Forum will still remain only aspirations by 2015," said Paul Gérin-Lajoie, PAG-L committee member, Founding Chairman, Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie, and an icon in Canadian and international education. "More importantly, it outlines 10 guiding principles and recommendations that could lead to a genuine and successful EFA."

Some of the guiding principles and recommendations outlined in the report include: the creation of a learning architecture; a move toward systems that are learner-centred and comprehensive; an understanding of education as an imperative for economic, social, environmental and individual development; and, a need for a shift in focus from identifying deficits and gaps to capitalizing on learning assets.

"Education internationally must move to a transformative approach and not be satisfied with solely adding more space to classes," says Dr. Paul Cappon, PAG-L Chair and President and CEO of the Canadian Council on Learning.

"There needs to be local solutions in the global EFA movement. Instead of prescribing solutions, donor countries and agencies should work with recipient countries to develop mutually agreed-upon expectations. And all countries, even the poorest, as well as donor countries, need to consider lifelong learning as the goal, and not just elementary education in the classroom."

A copy of the PAG-L report and the executive summary are available at www.paglearning.org/webdocs/EFA_Alternative_Report_EN_Complete.pdf. A list of the six key goals established by the World Education Forum can be found at www.unesco.org/education/efa/ed_for_all/dakfram_eng.shtml.

The Policy Action Group on Learning (PAG-L) is an independent international group. Its mission, in concert with like-minded international organizations, is to suggest practicable alternatives in advancing an agenda promoting success in Lifelong Learning.

SOURCE CANADIAN COUNCIL ON LEARNING

For further information: For further information: Caroline Liguori, (613) 297-5300, cliguori@ccl-cca.ca, www.ccl-cca.ca

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