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In Focus

Roundtable, experts meeting to focus on gender issues in education

The inter-agency United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI) for East Asia and Pacific will host on 5 July, a Roundtable to discuss strategies to promote gender equality in basic education. During the week, UNESCO will also hold the Regional Meeting of the Gender in Education Network in Asia (GENIA). The meeting will run from 2 to 5 July in Bangkok, followed the next day by the Regional Experts' Meeting to support the GENIA. Read more


Central Asian countries review progress of EFA assessment exercise

National policy makers, technical experts and programme planners in education from the five Central Asian countries met to review progress of the EFA Mid-Decade Assessment (MDA) exercise in the sub-region. Officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan met for the 6th Central Asian Education Forum from 26 to 28 June 2007 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Read more


Regional working group discuss continued support to EFA review

The Regional Thematic Working Group on EFA met again on 22 June to report on members' activities and to discuss the EFA Mid-Decade Assessment (MDA) process. The inter-agency body discussed plans for continued support to national assessment and to further consider sub-regional and regional EFA MDA reports. Representatives of UNESCO, UNICEF, ILO, the World Bank, Southeast Asian Ministers' Organization, Baha'i International, SIL, Education Centre, and ATD Fourth World attended the meeting. Visit the TWG on EFA web page


UNESCO supporting countries improve mother tongue education

To allow countries to learn from each other's experiences, UNESCO Bangkok organized a workshop focusing on improving quality of mother tongue/bilingual literacy programmes and activities. The workshop was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 18 to 22 June 2007.  Read more


Countries, UN agencies discuss viability of abolishing school fees

Delegations from 23 countries, experts and decision-makers from key organizations met in Mali to explore ways to give momentum to the school fee abolition initiative. Over 150 participants attended the meeting, including participants from Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. Read more


Thailand marks World Day Against Child Labour

Events were organized in Thailand for the first time to mark World Day Against Child Labour, focusing especially on child workers in agriculture. Child labour is one of the main barriers for countries to meet their commitment to delivering Education for All (EFA). The 12 June events were organized by ILO. Read more


Malaysia EFA assessment: Focusing on reaching the unreached groups

Malaysia has seen steady progress in its commitment to deliver education for all (EFA) children. It is also now moving towards reaching the small, but significant portion of the population unreached by the education system. It is one of the countries undertaking an assessment of progress in meeting EFA and is expected to finalize its national report this year. Read more



Staff changes

The main focal point for EFA Coordination at the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Jon Kapp, has resigned and will be leaving UNESCO effective 30 June. As a search is underway for a replacement, please email for EFA related matters and watch for an announcement of a new focal point in this space in the coming months.

Upcoming Events

Seminar to discuss early childhood policy review initial findings

Researchers and experts from countries in the region will meet in Bangkok to discuss initial findings of an ongoing early childhood care and education (ECCE) policy review. The seminar, organized by UNESCO Bangkok and the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Office, will be held from 11 to 13 July 2007. Read more


High-level Literacy Conferences in Asia

UNESCO is organizing a series of high-level regional conferences on literacy to discuss specific challenges in the region and develop strategies for future action. The next conference will be held in Beijing, China on 31 July and 1 August 2007, covering East Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific. This will be followed by a conference in New Delhi, India on 29 and 30 November covering South Asia. The UNESCO Director-General is expected to attend the conferences, which is in line with the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD) and the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE), both spearheaded by UNESCO. E-mail for more information.


Latest education and literacy indicators from UIS

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has released the latest literacy statistics and internationally comparable education indicators (school year 2005). The release of the latest data coincides with the launch of the new UIS Data Centre. Over 1,000 types of indicators and data on education from over 200 countries are available on the online Data Centre. Users can download statistical tables related to UNESCO's work or build their own statistical tables by choosing a country, region or theme. Visit the UIS Data Centre


Corrupt Schools, Corrupt Universities: What can be done?

Corruption in schools is seriously undermining education systems. This report published by UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) presents analyses of corruption problems in the education field. It assesses the nature and extent of the problem and how it can be solved. It is based on six years of research and the experiences of over 60 countries.  Download from the UNESCO Website


Confronting the Contradictions: The IMF, wage bill caps and the case for teachers
This report produced by ActionAid focuses on how the economic policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are forcing poor countries to either freeze, or seriously curtail, spending on teachers. Although it focuses on the experiences of Malawi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, it also discusses the impact of the IMF policy on other countries such as Nepal and Tajikistan in Asia. Download from the Global Campaign for Education Website


Education Rights: A Guide for Practitioners and Activists

This resource pack produced by ActionAid for the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), aims to get practitioners and activists to understand and apply the human rights approach to education at the grassroots level. It focuses on six strategic areas in education: the right to education, excluded groups, financing education, citizen participation, rights in education and EFA. Download from the GCE website


Getting All Girls into School

This article featured in the quarterly magazine of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) argues that new strategies to educate ALL girls must be found.  While lots of progress has been made in recent years, there are still some 43 million out of school girls who are largely from socially excluded groups around the world.  This article presents suggestions to make education accessible to these "excluded girls".  Read more from the IMF Website



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