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UNESCO’s programme for Education in 2010-2011 gives top priority to supporting the achievement of Education for All (EFA) and to providing global and regional leadership in education, notably through carrying out the recommendations of four landmark international education conferences. Organized by UNESCO in 2008-2009, these conferences addressed inclusive quality education, education for sustainable development, adult learning and higher education, providing guidance to policy-makers and other stakeholders on ways to transform education systems in a globalizing world.

Key priority areas

  • Sector-wide Policy and Planning
  • Literacy
  • Teachers
  • Technical vocational education and training (TVET)

 Four main lines of action:

  • Accelerating progress towards Education for All (EFA), in particular at country level
  • Building quality inclusive education systems
  • Supporting education system responses to contemporary challenges for sustainable development and culture of peace and non-violence
  • Reinforcing leadership for Education for All (EFA) through advocacy, partnership and monitoring.

Initiatives for Education for All

UNESCO’s Education Sector has developed or co-developed initiatives in response to the need for sustained and concerted action to address persistent education challenges. 

LIFE: The Literacy Initiative for Empowerment

A 10-year UNESCO initiative targeting the 35 countries with 85 per cent of the world's illiterate population (2006-2015).  

EDUCAIDS: The Global Initiative on Education and HIV/AIDS

A UNESCO-led initiative carried out with 10 UN agencies to help governments provide a comprehensive response in the area of HIV and AIDS education. 

Global partnership for girls’ and women’s education: “Better Life, Better Future”

A UNESCO-led partnership aiming to address the dropout rate of adolescent girls and the scaling up of women’s literacy programmes through stronger advocacy and partnerships.

Education First, the UN Secretary-General’s initiative

UNESCO played a central role in shaping the overall concept of this five-year initiative, launched in September 2012 to bolster global action on education. UNESCO’s Director-General serves as Executive Secretary of its Steering Committee

 Consult UNESCO’s programme in detail


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