The rights of all persons to education was established when the concept of free and compulsory education was proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
Forty years later, in 1990, international discussions in Jomtien, Thailand, led to the establishment of Education for All (EFA).
Since education is a human rights issue and there are skepticisms as to whether Sierra Leone would meet the education millennium development goals, EFA- Sierra Leone coalition recently signed a contract to undertake research on the progress on education and adult literacy in Sierra Leone.
EFA Chairperson, Moses Ogendeh Kamara intimated that 2008 marks halfway into efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
The 2008 Global Monitoring Report came very timely, as it particularly put emphases on progress acceleration towards human development goals, he explained.
He however revealed that Sierra Leone belongs to the 2nd phase of what he termed, “an extended watch initiative,” since according to him the first phase which was launched in 2007 excluded the Country.
The Chairperson explained that the aim of the research is to provide credible data which would be used by stakeholders in the Education Sector for national development under the auspices of African Network Campaign for Education for All (ANCEFA).
The importance of the data collection exercise, he averred, “is to arm the education coalition both national and regional with documentary evidences to constructively engage respective Government Departments and Agencies to live up to their commitment in providing quality education for all citizens.
According to EFA National Coordinator, Patrick Zombo, ANCEFA has dished out $ 20,000 for the execution of the entire project.
The research would be taken by a Consultant- Mohamed Taziff Koroma and it must be concluded within sixty (60) days, Zombo disclosed.
He noted that ANCEFA was in Sierra Leone in August to officially launch the education watch study in the Country, and to hold consultative dialogue with coalition members, Ministry of Education Officials, international NGO’s and relevant stakeholders in the Education Sector on the objective of the study.
He however, disclosed that with sponsorship from ANCEFA, his organization is supporting a compressive assessment to evaluate progress made in meeting the EFA goals in Sierra Leone; particularly on adult literacy and the barriers to accessing education for adult learners.
The survey would be done in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and its partners in adult education (PADE Co). The Consultant would be supported by EFA-SL secretariat.