Education International
Education International

Global Action Week 2008: Quality Education to End Exclusion!

published 13 December 2007 updated 13 December 2007

Global Action Week 2008 will take place from 21-27 April. To mark it, the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is calling for civil society to mobilise around the theme of "Quality Education to End Exclusion".

Education International (EI) is one of the founding members of the Global Campaign for Education, which coordinates Global Action Week. At the midway point toward the target date for achieving Education for All (EFA), EI urges its affiliates to step up campaigning efforts to hold their governments to account on the promises they made to deliver free, quality, public education to all children, without exception, by 2015. In many countries, EI’s teacher union affiliates spearhead the national GCE coalitions which are responsible for exerting pressure for positive changes to be made to the education sector.

Still there is often a temptation to say that Education for All has been achieved, that the job has been done. This is not necessarily the case. Universal access to education is a reality in many countries, and this is an achievement to be commended. However ticking the box quality education remains a distant objective around the world and there are still groups within society which are consistently being denied the right to education access.

Released on November 29, the latest Global Monitoring Report on EFA points to poor results in the provision of quality education. Teacher shortages go to the core of this problem. Still an overwhelming 18 million teachers need to be recruited and trained before 2015 to meet the EFA goals. Likewise although access to education has improved, drop-out among children is still very high: in several African countries fewer than half the pupils who start primary school reach the last grade.

Some groups continue to be excluded from education in many parts of the world. These include girls, children from rural areas, children from minority ethnic groups, children with disabilities, children in conflict areas and so on. The goal of eliminating gender disparities in both primary and secondary education by 2005 was missed in a great majority of countries. Only about a third - 59 of the 181 countries - had achieved the gender parity goal. In short, a lot remains to be done.

This month EI is sending (by email and post) all affiliates information on how to get prepared for Global Action Week 2008. Make sure to get involved to campaign for ‘Quality Education to End Exclusion!’