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close this bookWorld Conference on Education for All: Meeting Basic Learning Needs - Final Report (UNICEF - UNDP - UNESCO - WB - WCEFA, 1990, 129 p.)
close this folder3. Education for All: The Consensus-Building - Summary of Interventions in the Plenary Commission
close this folderConcerns
View the documentMaking a Difference
View the documentEducation for All: Realities
View the documentEducation in Context
View the documentBasic Education - A Foundation
View the documentFocus on Effective Learning
View the documentBalancing Priorities: Basic and Higher Education
View the documentNew Models of Cooperation and Partnership
View the documentOutreach and Equity
View the documentEducational Channels
View the documentResources

Focus on Effective Learning

Delegates agreed that education data on enrolment rates or numbers of years in schools are not useful and that:

Emphasis ought to be on the access to and achievement of learning that is relevant to the needs of the individual and his or her community.

The focus on achievement, and the issue of measuring achievement levels is a significant factor in the Education for All initiative:

One key issue on which we must focus if we are seriously to pursue the goal of universal primary education - or, indeed, any of the EFA targets - is the minimum common level of learning that must be achieved by... learners. A difficult aspect... will be testing the learning level or performance of individual learners... The ultimate goal... is that children are educated: that they are literate and numerate, and that they have life skills. How do we devise a measure of the outputs with a criterion-based, objective measure of learning gains?

J P. Grant
Executive Director, UNICEF

While the emphasis on learning acquisition was welcomed, some interventions cautioned against too utilitarian an approach to defining "an acceptable level of learning". The development of the creative potential of the individual, of imagination, of spiritual and aesthetic values, of community spirit, are justifiable in their own right, and not easily measurable in the short term.

The point about learning is that it is a process of growth, and not a product to be acquired: learning is a journey, not a destination.

Statement of Commonwealth Secretariat

The external agencies should examine current assistance practices in order to find ways of effectively assisting basic education programmes which do not require capital- and technology-intensive assistance but often need longer-term budgetary support.

Framework for Action #45(c):