Over sixty years ago education was declared a basic human right for every person, and enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948. Since then, it has been reaffirmed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the Conventional on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1979) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), among many other international human rights instruments.
In 1990, over 150 governments adopted the World Declaration on Education for All at Jomtien, Thailand to boost efforts towards delivering the right to education. Ten years later, the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal reaffirmed this commitment and adopted the six Education For All (EFA) goals that run to 2015:
Goal 1: Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
Goal 2: All children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities have access to free, quality and compulsory primary education by 2015.
Goal 3: Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes
Goal 4: Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults
Goal 5: Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality
Goal 6: Improving every aspect of the quality of education, and ensuring their excellence so that recognised and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills