by Undraa Batsukh, Programme Officer, Education and Employment, EI
This week, Education International (EI) is actively participating in the Learning for All Ministerial meetings that will take place on April 18 in connection with the 2013 World Bank and IMF Spring meetings in Washington D.C. EI President, Susan Hopgood has been invited to open a discussion in the Democratic Republic of Congo country meeting, where she will be joined by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, the Qatar Foundation, the African Development Bank, the Global Campaign for Education, and the Global Partnership for Education. She will also attend the second meeting of the High-Level Steering Committee of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).
The Learning for All Ministerial meetings, brings together the Ministers of Finance and Education of the eight countries that are the furthest from achieving the Millennium Development Goals for education (Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Yemen and South Sudan), as well as representatives of UN agencies, bilateral and key donor agencies, civil society and the private sector. The Learning for All Ministerial meetings are co-hosted by the President of World Bank Group, Jim Kim, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown.
The meetings focus on the main obstacles and challenges to progress in the field of education in these eight countries, with the aim of identifying measures to promote and accelerate progress towards ensuring access to education.
The Learning for All Ministerial Roundtable is preceded by Learning for All Ministerial Country meetings, where focused sessions give participants an opportunity to engage directly with the concerned Ministers of Finance and Education, and look at the specific challenges faced by that particular country.
Despite considerable progress towards the achievement of Education for All (EFA) and education MDGs, EI is concerned about the over 71 million adolescents and 61 million children of primary school age (53% of them girls) still being out of school globally, and the 775 million illiterate adults worldwide, two-thirds of whom are women. Based on the experiences of educators, and the challenges faced by teachers in classrooms on an everyday basis, EI will call for free, quality education for all. Every student has the right to be taught by a qualified and well-supported teacher, and learn in safe schools with adequate infrastructure, facilities and resources. EI will also raise the acute shortage of trained teachers as a major obstacle to achieving universal quality education.
Watch the live webcast of the Learning for All Ministerial Roundtable on April 18 at 4:45pm EDT/ 8:45 pm GMT: http://go.worldbank.org/JKVNWC7YG0