Achieving Education for All: The Case for NonFormal Education

Report of a Symposium on the Implementation of Alternative Approaches in the Context of Quality Education for All

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One of the biggest challenges of the new millennium is to provide access to basic education for the approximately 840 million adults in the world who cannot read or write and to ensure that all the world’s children get some form of primary education. It is increasingly accepted that nonformal education has an important role to play in achieving this. At a Symposium held in Burkina Faso in 2003, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa's Working Group on NonFormal Education took the argument one step further. It showed how, because of its diversity and flexibility, NFE can make a special contribution to the quality of provision, by making education not only available, but accessible, acceptable and adaptable. It also made a case for the complementarity of nonformal and formal provision and showed the need to mainstream NFE into the education system as a whole. This book reproduces the papers presented at the Symposium, with an overview summarising its discussions and findings. The first part looks at theoretical issues and presents the findings of research carried out in Burkina Faso about the indicators which can be used to measure the effectiveness of the right to education. It places the discussion in a historical context and looks at current policies on the roles of nonformal and formal education in realising the vision of the seminal 1990 Jomtien Declaration on Education for All. The second part of the book contains case studies from seven African countries showing the diversity and potential of NFE initiatives.



Observing and Collecting ‘Social Intelligence'

I would first like to express my thanks to our partners in the Association for the Promotion of Non Formal Education in Burkina Faso (APENF/ADEA Working Group on Non-Formal Education) and to the Alpha programme of the Swiss Bureau of Co-operation (BUCO) for this opportunity to reaffirm our common objective: to observe that a human right is a joint action of social construction. It means a coming together of those who are deprived of the full enjoyment of their rights and those who share responsibility; it also means recognition of the great potential of individuals, noting where the social and institutional fabric is either torn or non-existent and planning its democratic ‘mending’.


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