Minister of State Lenihan launches UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report
Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today launched UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2006 in Ireland.
This report assesses countries' progress towards the internationally agreed Education for All goals and provides recommendations for action. This year's report focuses on literacy.
Speaking at the launch the Minister said:
“Basic literacy is the foundation of all learning. We know, for example, that every year a girl is denied access to reading and writing skills increases her risk of remaining poor, of being exploited and of being vulnerable to disease.
This report points to the increase in school enrolment figures in sub Saharan Africa, including in Uganda and Tanzania where Irish Aid has been particularly active. I agree with the report's findings that we must emphasise the quality of education; that real development is about more than numbers of people attending school.
Education is transformative – it increases civic participation and helps create a confident people better able to articulate their own needs and demand better services. It is in all our interests to focus our efforts on this important element. Support for education is central to the Irish Aid programme and will remain a high priority.
I am fully committed to increasing levels of expenditure on basic education and am pleased to announce today a contribution of €3 million to the Education for All – Fast Track Initiative for this year.”
2 March 2006
Note for Editors
The Education for All - Fast-track Initiative (FTI) is a global partnership between donor and developing countries to ensure accelerated progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. All low-income countries which demonstrate serious commitment to achieve universal primary completion can receive support from FTI.
The focus of the 2006 Education for All Global Monitoring Report is “Literacy for Life”. The fourth of six Education for All goals involves a pledge by international governments to achieve a 50% improvement in the level of adult literacy by 2015. Over 771 million adults world wide live without minimal literacy skills, with the majority of these being women.
The Global Monitoring Report also provides progress indicators for education, central to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Since 2002 Irish Aid has provided €3 million towards this report's research and publication funding will continue in 2006.
Between 2000 and 2004, expenditure by Irish Aid on education amounted to almost €200 million. Of this, almost €170 million was spent in support of education in our partner countries in Sub Saharan Africa. The majority of support was channelled through Ministries of Education in partner countries with the remainder to Irish NGOs and missionary organisations.