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A world of possibilities A world of possibilities
By Dr. Harriet Sakala, FAWEZA Alumni

From the Executive

UNGEI Global Advisory Committee makes recommendations on strategies for EFA

Monday, 17 November 2008

The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) held the second of this year’s bi-annual meetings of its Global Advisory Committee (GAC) on 12 November in Paris, France. 

One of the objectives was to develop a strategy to influence the Working Group on Education for All (WGEFA), meeting at the same time in Paris. The GAC, of which FAWE is a member, formulated recommendations that it made to the WGEFA on responding to global challenges, equity and governance, financing EFA, and addressing the teacher gap. 

In responding to global crises, which tend to affect girls and women disproportionately, the GAC said donors should prioritise and increase aid, investing in education in support of national policies. It also suggested that national governments should prioritise and protect investment in girls’ education and initiate or scale up specific educational and social policy measures to mitigate the effects of global crises on girls and women.

The UNGEI GAC said effective governance must be driven by a gender perspective, with strategies such as greater community engagement, school-based management and empowerment of both women and men aimed at ensuring greater accountability over financial and human resources.

The Committee called for increased public spending on education to address the negative impact of increasing levels of poverty on economic development and social equity, particularly for girls and women. In this regard, the GAC also emphasised that gender equality must be an integral part of public sector programmes, policy and practice to ensure effectiveness of public expenditure on education.

As regards the teacher gap, the GAC recommended to the WGEFA that governments should be supported to adopt a gender approach to the teaching profession. This could be through increasing the number of trained women teachers; more gendered approaches to budgeting to assist the development of the teaching force; and more coherent national and regional policies to ensure greater equality in the teaching force and to support quality assurance, teacher education and professional development.

The WGEFA, which will feed into the High Level Group (HLG) meeting on EFA to be held in Oslo, Norway in December, focused on developing policy recommendations to be made to the HLG on these four key areas for achieving EFA.

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