World Education Forum
From 19 to 22 May, education ministers, high-ranking officials and NGOs from around the world were gathered at the World Education Forum in Incheon, Republic of Korea, under the auspices of UNESCO to assess progress made since the adoption of the Education for All movement (EFA) and to prepare the post-2015 education agenda.
The Education for All Movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults. The commitment for EFA was taken in 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, when 164 governments have identified six goals to be achieved before 2015. Having reached the end of this period, the assessment made by UNESCO in its 15th global monitoring report is somewhat disappointing: only a third of the world's governments have achieved the EFA goals, while half of the countries have met the key objective of universal primary education.
Aware of these shortcomings, participants in the World Education Forum have agreed to a joint declaration, hailed by the United Nations as a "huge step forward", which encourages countries to provide inclusive, equitable, quality education opportunities for all. Endorsed by Education Ministers and officials from across the world, the Incheon declaration provides a strong political support for the post-2015 education agenda.
Nevertheless, while Southern countries’ education Ministers’ have demonstrated their commitment to everything in their power to achieve these goals, rich countries have shown some ambivalence. As stated by S. Coulibaly, Minister of Education of Burkina Faso at the forum:
"I witness how so many high ranking officials and Ministers are participating in the forum, but the Ministers from most donor countries are absent. The donors’ commitment to initiatives like the Global Partnership for Education has been reducing over the years. I fear their absence may be a signal that there will be lesser resources to address education inequality in the developing world”. Quoted by Deepask Xavier (Oxfam)
In conclusion, we would like to say that we are fully aware of the efforts made by UNESCO, and as Nelson Mandela used to put it: