Ministers of Education from 15 countries in eastern Africa are set to meet in Kampala from July 8 to 10, to deliberate on the ‘Education for All’ (EFA) initiative.
The initiative, supported by Unesco, is part of an international effort to ensure that the benefits of education reach every citizen of a given country. Joseph Ngobi, Uganda’s ministry of Education spokesman, says the meeting will deliberate on how far ‘Education for All’ goals have been achieved.
“The ministers will also look at whether what was adopted in the Mombasa meeting has been achieved and how far the countries have reached in implementing what they agreed upon,” Ngobi explained.
The ministers’ meeting will adopt the Kampala Declaration, Ngobi said, which will look into the post-2015 era after Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have elapsed. EFA encourages countries to increase their budget allocation to the education sector.
The initiative also aims to ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances, and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to, and complete free and compulsory primary education. EFA further seeks to ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met.
Participating countries are expected to achieve a 50% improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, as well as equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults. Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education and achieving gender equality in education by 2015 are also EFA’s goals.
In 2011, the ministers of education in the region met in Mombasa, Kenya, and adopted what they called the ‘Mombasa Call for Action’. Here, the ministers reaffirmed and committed themselves to uphold the EFA Dakar Framework for Action, which called for the actualisation of quality education and working to achieve MDGs related to education.
MDG 2 asks governments to achieve universal primary education by 2015. The ministers also acknowledged that progress, like increased enrolment at primary school level, reduction of school dropouts and gender parity in terms of more girls going to school, had been made since EFA was adopted in 2000.