The UNESCO Office in Kathmandu together with the Ministry of Education and the Nepal National Commission for UNESCO, unveiled the Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report 2013/14, “Teaching and learning : Achieving quality for all” in Kathmandu on 17 March 2014.
This 11th EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR) provides a timely update on progress that countries are making towards the global education goals that were agreed in 2000. It also makes a powerful case for placing education at the heart of the global development agenda after 2015. The report also makes it clear whether we can achieve EFA goals by 2015 with less than two years left and recommends what the governments must do to reach those goals.
In her introductory remarks, Amita Vohra, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCO office in Kathmandu said, “With 57 million children out of school and 250 million failing to learn the basics, the report calls for a renewed focus on recruitment, training and policies that ensure that the best teachers reach learners who need them the most. Less than 75% primary school teachers are trained worldwide.” To solve the learning crisis, all children must have teachers who are trained, motivated and enjoy teaching, who can identify and support weak learners, and who are backed by well-managed education systems, she added.
Abhimanyu Singh, Director and Country Representative, the UNESCO office in Beijing, made a presentation on the key findings of the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14. He observed that with the current trend, none of the six EFA goals will be met by the end of 2015. Highlighting some of the major threats identified by the report, he said, “Fall in aid threatens education in the poorest countries. Therefore, after 2015, financing targets should be set for countries to allocate at least 6 % of GNP on education; 20% of their budget on education, and these financing targets should also apply to aid donors so that all funders are held to account for their promises.” He further said that the report strongly recommended that policy-makers must allocate the best teachers where they are most needed and provide incentives to retain the best teachers.
Besides highlighting the findings of the EFA GMR 2013/4, Singh also shared his personal experiences on the progress made by China on achieving the goals of EFA and responded to different queries from the participants.
Lava Deo Awasthi, Director General of the Department of Education, said, “The EFA GMR produced by UNESCO is a very comprehensive guiding tool that helps the government to know the trends and challenges faced by different countries throughout the world in attaining the the EFA goals”. He described the government’s progress on EFA goals, National Assessment of Student Achievement findings, implementation strategies adopted by the government, and the activities that need to be undertaken before and after 2015 in the education sector.
Similarly, Deependra Bickram Thapa, former Secretary of the Ministry of Education, presented the current situation/issues, the strategies/action needed for the teacher management and development in Nepal as mentioned in the School Sector Reform Plan 2010 to 2017.
Tap Raj Pant of the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu discussed on the pedagogical approaches used in the past and explained what the pedagogical approaches in Nepalese context should be in the future.
In the programme, Susan Acharya, Associate Professor at the Tribhuvan University made her general observation on the findings of the EFA GMR 2013/4 in reference to the Nepalese context with special reference to gender.
In his closing remarks, Narayan Gopal Malego, Secretary General of the Nepal National Commission for UNESCO and Secretary of the Ministry of Education, said, “EFA GMR is instrumental on reviewing our past effort and for planning beyond 2015 as well. All concerns will be taken seriously and implemented in education planning.” He further said that dream quality education cannot be achieved without teacher’s effort and government has to prioritize teacher training to achieve quality education.
A translated summary of EFA GMR 2013/14 (Nepali version) was launched on this occasion with a view to wider dissemination of the report among education stakeholders.
More than 70 representatives including government officials, EFA development partners, I/NGOs, teacher unions and media persons were present in the programme.
Source: UNESCO Kathmandu