Early childhood education at top of agenda of high-level EFA meeting in CairoEducation ministers from 15 countries along with senior officials from the main donor nations, multilateral agencies, civil society and the private sector will meet next week in Cairo, Egypt (14-16 November) to discuss ways of accelerating progress towards the six Education for All (EFA) goals set by over 160 countries at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, in 2000.
The Prime Minister of Egypt, Ahmed Mohamed Nazif, and UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will open the meeting, which will be chaired by Egypt’s Minister for Education, Yousri El Gamal.
This sixth meeting of the EFA High-Level Group, which has met annually since the Dakar Forum, will pay special attention to the goal of expanding early childhood care and education (ECCE). According to the recently released Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2007, ECCE lays strong foundations for future learning and all forms of personal development. However, half the world’s countries have no early childhood care and education policy for children under three years of age despite ECCE’s well-documented benefits for all children, especially for the poorest and most disadvantaged.
The meeting will also consider how the education sector can provide stronger and more comprehensive responses to HIV and AIDS. Other sessions will look at ways of strengthening partnerships among EFA stakeholders, mobilising more resources and improving the effectiveness of aid.
Related events will take place before the meeting, notably a meeting of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI, 12-13 November) and the EFA-Fast Track Initiative Annual Partnership meeting (13-14 November).
The Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2007 will be presented at a press conference at 5 pm on 13 November in the Mena House Oberoi Hotel, Cairo.
A second press conference will take place at 5 pm on 16 November at the same location at the conclusion of the meeting.