Barbados will begin a review of its efforts at achieving the Education for All Goals 2015, next week.

This is when the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation hosts a Stakeholder???s Forum on Monday, May 12, at the United Nations House, Marine Gardens, St. Michael, from 9:00 a.m.

The Education for All (EFA) movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults.??

At the World Education Forum [Dakar, 2000], 164 governments pledged to achieve the EFA and identified six goals to be met by next year. Governments, development agencies, civil society and the private sector throughout the world have, since then, been working together to reach these goals.

One of the goals aims to expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Another one is designed to ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to, and complete, free and compulsory, primary education of good quality.

The EFAs also seek to ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes. Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults, is also desirable.

A fifth goal was to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, ???with a focus on ensuring girls??? full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.???

Sixthly, the EFA aims to improve ???all aspects of the quality of education and ensure excellence of all so that recognised and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills???.

Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones will deliver remarks at the start of the Stakeholders??? Forum and there will be several presentations by key education officials. The United Nations Representative, Lara Blanco will deliver the feature address.

Head of the Education Faculty, University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, Dr. Jennifer Obidah will review Early Childhood Education achievements in Barbados. Senior Education Officer, Joy Adamson will examine Primary and Secondary Education and Gender ??? developments and achievements since 2000.

There will also be a presentation on Adult Education, Literacy and Life Skills by Deputy Principal of Erdiston Teachers??? Training College (ETTC), Dr. Patricia Saul and another on Quality Education and Leadership by Dr. Ian Marshall of the UWI.

The Role of Teacher Training in Achieving the EFAs will be explored by the ETTC???s Principal, Barbara Parris and will be followed by a panel discussion on the topic Education in Barbados: the Post-2015 Development Focus. ??The outcome of the Forum will feed into the Barbados National EFA Report to be submitted to UNESCO, later this year.

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