Dr Shashi Tharoor,
Minister of State for HRD says Education For All (EFA) goals cannot be
achieved globally if they are not achieved in the E 9 member
countries.In his opening address at the E9 Ministerial Review Meeting in
New Delhi today, Dr Tharoor noted that some countries may face greater
challenges than others in meeting the EFA goals by the 2015 target date,
and that the quality problem is more acute in the developing world, in
part due to the rapid expansion of access. However, it is recognized
that improving the quality of education and the equity of that quality
is a global challenge, he added.
The Minister said, today, children and youth in low-income, in
middle-income and in rich countries alike are not always learning what
they are supposed to learn, nor acquiring the knowledge, skills and
competences which equip them for the world of work and for active
citizenship. Any future education agenda will have to focus on the
issues of quality and relevance
Prof. Ms. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa`I, outgoing chair of the E9 and Minister
of Education of Nigeria and Ms. Irina Bokova, DG of UNESCO also
addressed the meeting.
India today assumed the chair of the E-9 Secretariat from 2012-2014.
India, in cooperation with UNESCO, is hosting the ninth E-9 Ministerial
Review Meeting in New Delhi from 9- 10 November, 2012.This year’s theme
of the meeting, on ‘Inclusive, Relevant and Quality Education for All’,
looks at similar challenges that the E-9 countries are facing,
country-specific developments in education since the last E-9 meeting in
2010 with ongoing monitoring till 2015.
The E-9 Initiative was launched in 1993 in New Delhi at the Education
For All Summit of the nine high-population countries. The “E” stands for
education and the “9” represents the nine highly populated countries:
Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and
Pakistan. The member countries are home not only to more than 60 per
cent of the world`s population, but also to more than 70 percent of the
world’s adult illiterates, about two-thirds of whom are women and girls,
and more than half of it out-of-school children.
Based on the discussions, the E9 countries will chalk out a plan of
action to further relevant quality education in the respective countries
which will be followed up over the next two years. Their focus will be
on the challenges of improving education quality and how those
challenges can be addressed collectively and cooperatively by E-9
The education ministers of Pakistan, India, China (Vice-Minister) and
Nigeria, as well as senior officials from Egypt and Indonesia are
reviewing the challenges facing their countries with a view to
increasing bilateral and collective cooperation.
At the close of the meeting, tomorrow, the ministers will adopt a joint