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close this bookPlan of Action for the Survival, Protection and Development of Children (United Nations)
close this folderII. Specific actions for child survival, protection and development
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe Convention on the Rights of the Child
View the documentChild health
View the documentFood and nutrition
View the documentRole of women, maternal health and family planning
View the documentRole of the family
View the documentBasic education and literacy
View the documentChildren in especially difficult circumstances
View the documentProtection of children during armed conflicts
View the documentChildren and the environment
View the documentAlleviation of poverty and revitalization of economic growth

Basic education and literacy

20. The international community, including virtually all the Governments of the world, have undertaken a commitment at the World Conference on Education for All at Jomtien, Thailand, to increase significantly educational opportunity for over 100 million children and nearly 1 billion adults, two thirds of them girls and women, who at present have no access to basic education and literacy. In fulfilment of that commitment, specific measures must be adopted for (a) the expansion of early childhood development activities, (b) universal access to basic education, including completion of primary education or equivalent learning achievement by at least 80 per cent of the relevant school age children with emphasis on reducing the current disparities between boys and girls, (c) the reduction of adult illiteracy by half, with emphasis on female literacy, (d) vocational training and preparation for employment and (e) increased acquisition of knowledge, skills and values through all educational channels, including modern and traditional communication media, to improve the quality of life of children and families.

21. Besides its intrinsic value for human development and improving the quality of life, progress in education and literacy can contribute significantly to improvement in maternal and child health, in protection of the environment and in sustainable development. As such, investment in basic education must be accorded a high priority in national action as well as international co-operation.