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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

New Models of Cooperation and Partnership

The joint action of the sponsoring agencies in the Education for All initiative was generally welcomed as emblematic of a necessary new approach to international cooperation. Donor agencies were called upon to redefine their role and working procedures in order to participate in a process with many actors and new partnerships. Simplification of procedures, combined with flexibility of approach, is necessary. Developing country delegates stressed that cooperation should increasingly concentrate on institution and capacity-building; less resources should be expended on costly foreign technical assistance.

Moreover, such assistance is usually concentrated on centralised functions and infrastructure, planning, management or curriculum development. Important as these are, critical support is required where the learners are - where imported equipment or foreign exchange, imported personnel or learning materials are of limited use, or where a critical issue may be one of how to support increased community control of the content of education.

High recurrent expenditures, particularly for teachers' salaries, are also a fact of life. Thus pragmatic approaches to assistance are needed, in the context of varying local needs, and targeted on local problems.

Strengthening of mutual support and cooperation among developing countries at regional and sub-regional levels is also a necessary focus for international cooperation, as collaborative networks of educators, researchers and policy-makers begin to emerge and expand. As expressed by one delegate, there is no alternative to partnership if Education for All is to be achieved:

No one state, no one agency and no one NGO has found an ideal method, a perfect path, for attaining universal literacy. All states and agencies and NGOs can and must learn from each other, sharing their ideas and resources.

Several speakers welcomed the mix of delegates to the World Conference as again symbolic of partnerships needed - participants from finance and planning, information and communications, labour and economic development, health and social welfare; from government, NGOs, the private sector, the media; national, regional and international organizations.

NGOs signalled their intention to be full and active partners, and their unique role and contribution was acknowledged.

The role of teachers as actors and partners in the education process received frequent emphasis, as did the need to ensure better working conditions for teachers, more funding for improved teacher education, and enhanced respect for the position of teachers. According to the Secretary-General of the Canadian Teachers' Federation and the President of the WCOTP, respectively:

It is primarily teachers who make any programme work, and they will respond more productively to participation in, rather than to imposition of, proposed education reforms.

There is urgent need to rehabilitate the teaching profession and reinstate educators and teaching professionals at all levels in the school system: by restoring the social prestige and recognition attached to the profession; by offering individuals attracted to the profession a level of training allowing them to work in an independent manner, assess their own performance by self-evaluation, attend to their further training and reappraisal of their own development; by recognising the right of teachers and their associations to be consulted and to participate in the framing of educational policies, particularly as regards the preparation, implementation and evaluation of innovations.