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Literacy for Life

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  1. LiteracyforLife The 2006 Education for AllGlobal Monitoring Report ADEA Biennial Meeting, Libreville, Gabon 28 March 2006

  2. Why literacy? Literacy is a right Literacy is a foundation for all further learning Literacy carries profound individual and social benefits Literacy matters for poverty reduction Literacy drives progress towards all the Education for All goals but is neglected on national policy agendas Literacy isa right still denied to about 40% of Africa’s adult population Several countries are giving renewed attention to literacy 1

  3. What this Report does • Assesses progresstowards the six Education for All goals and highlights crucial national strategies for speeding up progress • Stresses the core importance of literacy as a human right and a development imperative • Maps the global literacy challenge, drawing attention to evolving methods for measuring literacy more accurately • Analyzes how societies have achieved widespread literacy • Calls for a radical scaling up of youth and adult literacy programmes and policies to promote rich literate environments • Reviews international commitments to finance EFA 2

  4. Education for All Dakar Goals and Millennium Development Goals EFA Goals MDGs • Expanding early childhood care and education • Universal primary educationby 2015 • Equitable access tolearning and life skillsprogrammes for young people and adults • 50% increase inadult literacyrates by 2015 • Gender parity by 2005 and gender equality by 2015 • Improvingqualityof education Goal 2: Achieveuniversal primary education (Target 3: Completion of full primary schooling by all children by 2015) Goal 3. Promotegender equality and empower women (Target 4: eliminate gender disparity preferably by 2005 and no later than 2015) LITERACY IS AT THE CORE 3

  5. The EFA Development Index covers 121 countries and incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals Overall progress EDI is: Countries have achieved the goals or are close to doing so 1 in SSA between 0.95 and 1.00 44 Countries far from meeting the goals 18 in SSA Countries in intermediate position 9 in SSA between 0.80 and 0.94 49 28 less than 0.80 4

  6. Early childhood care and education out of reach for most Astrong influence on future school performance, a positive impacton girls’ enrolment in primary • Gross enrolment ratio in pre-primary is below 6% in more than half Sub-Saharan Africa countries with data • Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be excluded • Attendance rates are considerably higher for urban children than those living in rural areas • Theme of 2007 EFA Global Monitoring Report to be released on 24 October 2006 5

  7. Level of education 2002/2003 1990/1991 Upper secondary 18% (9%) 22% (15%) 60% (72%) Lower secondary 39% (21%) 46% (28%) 80% (58%) Source:Pôle de Dakar report 2005 59% (49%) Primary 6 91% (76%) Africa’s education pyramid This pyramid shows progress in access at all levels of education. But on average, 4 children out of 10 did not complete the primary cycle in 2002/03

  8. The enrolment challenge Primary school enrolments have risen sharply in South and West Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, but these two regions are still home to 70% of the world’s 100 million out-of-school children (41% in SSA) 7

  9. UPE is still elusive Net primary enrolment ratios have increased by more than 10 percentage points since 1998 in nine out of 28 SSA countries with data for both years. But despite progress, they remain under 70% in 18 countries with data 8

  10. Gender Parity Index (F/M), 2002 primary secondary 1.2 1.0 Gender parity 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 Sub Arab Centr. Latin Central N. South West East Asia Saharan States East. America Asia America/ Africa Europe Caribbean W. Europe Asia Pacific Gender parity • Considerable progress in countries with lowest gender parity index • Disparities at primary level in over 60 countries around the world are nearly alwaysat theexpense of girls • The gender parity index is under 0.80 in 11 out of 44 SSA countries • Legal and illegal fees charged in 29 African countries are a major barrier to progress 9

  11. Gender parity Progress in gender parity Several countries, particularly those with the highest gender disparities in primary education, have significantly improved girls’ access to school 10

  12. 54 100 49 6 6 8 10 9 86 9 79 31 Gender parity: the prospects at both levels • Achieved in 2002 • 2 in SSA Likely to be achieved in 2005 1 in SSA Likely to be achieved in 2015 2 in SSA At risk of not achieving by 2015 27 in SSA Primary education Secondary education Overall 11

  13. Declining reading scores Changes in reading scores at the end of grade 6 between SACMEQ I and II 12

  14. Quality of learning Poor learning outcomes remain a concern in many countries. Lack of school books is one reflection of impoverished learning environments Percentage of Grade 6 pupils in African classrooms where there are no books available, 2000 13

  15. Quality: trained teachers in demand The number of additional teachers needed to increase gross enrolment ratios to 100% and to achieve a 40:1 pupil-teacher ratio is probably unreachable in several countries 14

  16. More female teachers are essential The low proportion of trained female primary teachers impedes girls’ enrolment. The two regions with the lowest enrolment ratios in primary schools have the fewest female teachers 15 Median values for 2002/2003

  17. The impact of HIV/AIDS Pandemic impact Education is prevention • In eastern and southern Africa, 31% to 77% of all orphans are HIV/AIDS orphans • Kenya, U.R. Tanzania and Zambia lost an estimated 600 teachers to AIDS in 2005, Mozambique over 300 • One in five surveyed head teachers in southern Africa cited AIDS-related absenteeism as a serious problem • In Mozambique, AIDS-related teacher absenteeism will cost between US$3-6 million in 2005 • A study in 32 countries found that literate women are four times more likely to know the main ways to avoid AIDS • In Zambia, HIV infection fell by almost half among educated women; little decline for those with no formal schooling • Reliable information and counselling in school can help mitigate spread of HIV/AIDS 16

  18. Benefits: why literacy matters • Self-esteemand empowerment: widening choices, access to other rights • Political benefits: increased civic participation in community activities, trade unions and local politics • Cultural benefits: questioning attitudes and norms; improves ability to engage with one’s culture • Social benefits: better knowledge of healthcare, family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention; higher chance of parents educating children • Economic benefits: Returns on investment in adult literacy programmes are comparable to those in primary level education 17

  19. Literacy: global trends Patterns of literacy from 1970 to 2000 show an increase in adult literacy rates. Among the 15-24 age group, these rates are consistently higher Adult literacy rates are not increasing as rapidly as in the 1970s 18

  20. Literacy rates on the rise In 20 out of 35 SSA countries with data, adult literacy rates have increased by more than 10 percentage points Only countries with adult literacy rates below 70% in the 2000-2004 period are listed 19

  21. Literacy rates on the rise (2) In countries starting with a higher base in 1990, adult literacy rates have also increased, in some cases quite significantly Countries with adult literacy rates above 70% in the 2000-2004 period 20

  22. Women and literacy: a long-term perspective Gender disparities have decreased but too many women lack the basic learning tools to fully participate in their societies 21

  23. More accurate measures of literacy An increasing number of developing countries are designing literacy surveys (Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana) to provide more accurate knowledge of needs • Conventional measures • Based on national censusesRely on: • self declaration • report by household head • years of schooling • Define a person as literate/illiterate • Often overstate literacy levels Improved measures • Based on direct testing • Literacy skills in severaldomains are tested on scales • Provide more accurateknowledge about literacy 22

  24. National coordination Partnerships Literacy educators Good curricula Language policy Public spending 1.Universal quality basic education for girls and boys Literacy: a three-pronged approach 2.Scale up youth and adult literacy programmes 3.Develop rich literate environments School textbooks Local language newspapers Book publishing Public broadcasting Libraries Access to information Reducing feesTeachers Gender Inclusion and language Health and nutrition Public spending Strong political commitment is the starting point 23

  25. Thinking through good programmes • What motivates learners to acquire literacy skills? • Are curricula relevant to peoples’ lives and aspirations? • Is teaching participatory • Are teaching hours sufficient? • Do learners have enough and well-designed teaching materials? • Are learning groups appropriate and sensitive to culturaland social norms? 24

  26. The low status of literacy educators Better professional development is imperative • Training: either too short or too lengthy. Non-formal courses last one to two weeks; formal training can run 1-3 years • Importance of accreditation and on-the-job support • Pay: most programmes surveyed pay between one-fourth andone-half of a basic primary-school teacher’s salary • ICTs and distance learning have immediate potential for offering professional development – South Africa experimenting 25

  27. The language-literacy nexus Linguistic diversity is the reality in a majority of countries facing literacy challenges • Use of mother tongue in adult programmes is pedagogicallysound • Encourages community mobilization and social development; allows room for political voice • Learning only in the mother tongue can be a barrier to broader social and economic participation • Importance of: • learners’ demand • consultation with local communities • locally written produced teaching materials • transition to an additional language 26

  28. Enriching the literate environment The influence of print materials, mass media and ICTs • Contribute to the spread of literacy • Help individuals sustain their newly acquired skills • Positive impact of literacy materials in the home • Building literate environments implies a range of policies: • Print and broadcast media • Publishing and information policies • Special publications for newly literate • School textbook investment strategy • Public reading rooms and libraries 27

  29. Public spending: mobilizing resources Budgetary allocations to literacy must increase, but not at the expense of investment in quality schooling • The share of public funding on education in national income increased between 1998 and 2002 in the majority of SSA countries with data available • Education spending is under the recommended 6% of GNP in 25 SSA countries out of 31 with data. It is under 3% in 8 countries • Expanding secondary school enrolments increases budgetary pressure • Adult literacy: 1%of national education budgets is typicallyallocated to literacy. Donors make little explicit reference to literacy • The average cost of literacy programmes is on a par with primary education – approx. $47 per student in Africa. An estimated $3.2billion over 10 years is required to meet the Dakar literacy challenge in Africa 28

  30. The aid record Bilateral aid to basic education almost trebled between 1998 and 2003 but still accounts for less than 2% of total bilateral assistance. Multilateral aid is steadily rising 29

  31. Funding gap Required to achieve UPE and gender G8 pledge multilateral Total aid $2.1 billion bilateral Billions of US$ A funding gap remains ‘No country in need should be denied international assistance’ • Aid to basic education should increase from 2.6% to 5% of total aid • Aid must be aligned more closely with educational needs • Long-term predictable aid is essential • The Fast Track Initiative is a step for harmonization but has not resulted in increased aid 30

  32. The EFA balance sheet: priorities for action • Accelerating efforts towards UPE and quality in primary education Reducing/eliminating fees Policies to include those affected by HIV/AIDS Increasing teacher supply and better teacher training Introducing low cost school health and nutrition measures • Integrating measures on gender in all education policies • Increasing spending on basic education • Making literacy a higher priority on national and international agendas Expanding literacy programmes for youth and adults Clearly defining government responsibility for adult literacy Focusing on literate societies • More and better targeted aid + knowledge and technical support 31

  33. Contact Information EFA Global Monitoring Report Team UNESCO 7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 France 32