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Literacy for Life. The 2006 Education for All Global Monitoring Report. ADEA Biennial Meeting, Libreville, Gabon 28 March 2006. Why literacy?. Literacy is a right Literacy is a foundation for all further learning Literacy carries profound individual and social benefits

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The 2006 Education for AllGlobal Monitoring Report

ADEA Biennial Meeting,

Libreville, Gabon

28 March 2006

Why literacy

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


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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


Education for all dakar goals and millennium development goals
Education for All Dakar Goals and Millennium Development Goals

EFA Goals


  • 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)



Overall progress

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


0.95 and 1.00


Countries far from meeting the goals 18 in SSA

Countries in intermediate position

9 in SSA


0.80 and 0.94



less than 0.80


Early childhood care and education out of reach for most
Early childhood care and education out of reach for most incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


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Level of incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goalseducation



Upper secondary

18% (9%)

22% (15%)

60% (72%)

Lower secondary

39% (21%)

46% (28%)

80% (58%)

Source:Pôle de Dakar report 2005

59% (49%)



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

The enrolment challenge
The enrolment challenge incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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)


Upe is still elusive
UPE is still elusive incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


Gender parity

Gender Parity Index (F/M), 2002 incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals





Gender parity
























W. Europe



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


Progress in gender parity

Gender parity incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

Progress in gender parity

Several countries, particularly those with the highest gender disparities in primary education, have significantly improved girls’ access to school


Gender parity the prospects at both levels

54 incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals












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



Declining reading scores
Declining reading scores incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

Changes in reading scores at the end of grade 6 between SACMEQ I and II


Quality of learning
Quality of learning incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


Quality trained teachers in demand
Quality: trained teachers in demand incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


More female teachers are essential
More female teachers are essential incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


Median values for 2002/2003

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The impact of HIV/AIDS incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


Benefits why literacy matters
Benefits: incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goalswhy 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


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Literacy: global trends incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


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Literacy rates on the rise incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


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Literacy rates on the rise (2) incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


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Women and literacy: a long-term perspective incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

Gender disparities have decreased but too many women lack the basic learning tools to fully participate in their societies


More accurate measures of literacy
More accurate measures of literacy incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


Literacy a three pronged approach

National coordination incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals


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


Book publishing

Public broadcasting


Access to information

Reducing feesTeachers


Inclusion and language

Health and nutrition

Public spending

Strong political commitment is the starting point


Thinking through good programmes
Thinking through incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goalsgood 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?


The low status of literacy educators
The low status of literacy educators incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


The language literacy nexus
The language-literacy nexus incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


Enriching the literate environment
Enriching the literate environment incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


Public spending mobilizing resources
Public spending: mobilizing resources incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


The aid record
The aid record incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

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


A funding gap remains

Funding gap incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

Required to achieve UPE and gender

G8 pledge


Total aid

$2.1 billion


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


The efa balance sheet priorities for action
The EFA balance sheet: incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goalspriorities 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


Contact information
Contact Information incorporates the four most “quantifiable” EFA goals

EFA Global Monitoring Report Team


7, place de Fontenoy

75352 Paris 07