Deputy Minister Surty and the South African National Commission for UNESCO is hosting the annual Education For All (EFA) Stakeholders meeting today 17 April 2015 at Sol Plaatje House, Pretoria. The meeting coincides with the launch of the Global Monitoring Report (GMR) and the presentation of awards to the 2014 recipients of UNESCO funding. One of the functions of UNESCO is to strengthen the partnership between civil society and Government towards achieving the EFA goals.
The GMR aims to inform and influence national and international policymakers, planners, aid donors, UN organisations, civil society, as well as increasing public awareness of the importance of education. The stakeholders, representing Government, Civil Society, Academia, National Association of School Governing Bodies and the ETDP SETA, were provided with a draft report on progress made towards achieving the EFA Goals. According to the UNESCO report South Africa has made tremendous strides towards achieving the EFA goals with 97% access to basic education in 2014. The Report further stated that half of all countries achieved universal primary enrolment by 2015 and a further 10% were close to achieving it. In 2012, 121 million children and adolescents were still out of school, down from 204 million in 1999. Major inequality in education is partially to blame for countries’ failure to meet the EFA goals. The Report also found that the world’s poorest children are four times more likely to be out of primary school than the world’s richest children.
The main priorities addressed by the report include expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care in education. The report also looks at overall improvements of every aspect of the South Africa’s education system while emphasising the production of excellence so that recognised and measurable learning outcomes become visible.