Major efforts have been made since 2000 (e.g. Dakar and the MDGs) to improve access to education for children and adults. Progress has been made towards universal primary education and, in numerous countries, towards gender equality. These efforts have had a particularly positive impact on children’s access to primary education, but have also improved access to alternative forms of education for young adults who did not have access to education or did not complete it. The aim is also to achieve access for all, as advocated in the six EFA goals.
If the problems related to accessing basic education are to be reduced, all individuals whose basic education needs have not been met must be considered.
Gender discrimination and unequal treatment of boys and girls is still a challenge, both in terms of access to and completion of education and in terms of success in school and in learning. Differences still exist as a result of where people live (i.e. urban/rural area) and their socio-economic status. SDC and its partners continue to pay particular attention to the problem of equity, i.e. the inclusion of marginalized groups, girls and rural populations, particularly nomadic groups.
Good quality, relevant education is also a major goal of all education systems. It is not just a matter of ensuring access to education but of building capacities and allowing individuals to acquire skills and knowledge for their everyday lives. This means ensuring that learning is achieved, in both the formal and non-formal sectors. Quality is a fundamental principle of the right to education. A quality education requires coordination between the various stakeholders and a system that meets the following four criteria:
Acceptability Adaptability Accessibility Resource allocation
SDC supports the efforts of partners who are committed to ensuring the quality and relevance of education through pedagogical innovations such as using national languages in teaching; teaching content that is adapted to the socio-cultural context and defined in collaboration with the communities concerned; high quality training of trainers; and educational offers that combine basic education with vocational and pre-vocational skills.
EFA 2010 Global Monitoring Report: Reaching the marginalized
SDC E network documents
Education and Vocational training