sábado, abril 28, 2007

Global Action Week (from 23rd to 29th of April)

The Global Action Week Advisory Group recommends the theme for the 2007 campaign:

Education As a Human Right

A basic education is a right inherent to being human, each child's birthright and thus constitutes an end in itself. However, education is also a means to an end: it is required to ensure all people can live in a dignified manner and participate effectively in society. It also enables human beings to exercise all the other human rights (enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Unfortunately there is often a gap between the language of "rights" and the setting of "development goals" (which are often more influential in defining the actions of Governments). The Education For All [EFA] goals, that were reaffirmed at the Dakar World Education Forum in 2000, were unusual in recognising the right to Education: "(...) all children, young people and adults have the human right to benefit from an education that will meet their basic learning needs (...) Ensuring that by 2015 all children... have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality".

Next year, 2007, is a crucial year as it is the mid-point towards the EFA goals. Time is running out to achieve these. It is an important moment for demanding more urgent action towards achieving education rights. Rather than being a distant ideal these rights need to be converted into a reality now – and the EFA goals gives us a deadline.

The focus on Education as a Human Right leads the campaign to promote the entire Education For All agenda. Too many Governments have been pressurised to make choices between investing in one part of EFA over another. But education rights cannot be traded off against one another. Adults and pre-school children have as much right to education as primary school children. A rights-based approach means we need to look at the 6 EFA goals holistically or as a chain - rather taking any one of them separately.

Delivering on these 6 EFA goals is not an act of charity by Governments – rather it is their responsibility as Governments to deliver on the right to education for all their citizens. If a Government fails, it is not just that they are missing out on a globally agreed goal - rather they will be violating a basic right and should be held accountable. Focusing on "rights" should give us more passion and purpose than ever.

The idea is that civil society would create a chain of testimony and accountability from local to national then onto regional and international so that world leaders are at the end of a civil society monitoring chain - a 'chain' physically and metaphorically to pass up the realities of where EFA is 'on the ground' and what violations there are to education as a human right.


1st Line: Join Up For Education
2nd Line: Reach For Rights Now


A strong feeling across the coalitions, expressed in surveys as well as the GAWAG [Global Action Week Advisory Group] calls, is that the activity should ensure:
1. Consistency with previous years' action weeks;
2. Northern and Southern coalitions need to complement each other;
3. Needs to be able to deliver something to decision-makers.

The 2007 activities will be centred around the concept of 'chains' of people, either represented through artwork such as cut-outs or physical chains of people joining hands. This makes the campaign action flexible to both Northern and Southern concepts. Human chains are a strong campaigning action – as it signifies standing in solidarity with others and also the responsibility, the important link that every person plays.

As in previous years, there will be a number of stages to the Action Week:

Stage 1: Evidence Gathering
Coalitions and campaigners to create dossiers or collect testimonies to gather evidence of violations to the right to education and how far the EFA has succeeded. i.e. Building a file of examples on the ground of the 'non achievement' of education for all and the effect and testimonies from people who are not able to receive an education.

Stage 2: Officials to receive messages to take to leaders
Officials go to local meeting points (not just schools) to be the first stage in the chain reaction who 'accept' the evidence of where the EFA goals have got to and hear the reality of those who do not get a education.

Stage 3: Common Global Mass Campaign Action
Human chains created around the world where people join hands or make 'friend' style cut out figures as paper chains that join together. Chains act as the means of the delivery of the dossiers and evidence to Governments. These could be photographed from above and also spell out the key messages and slogans around the issues of 'education rights' and that 'the time to act is now!' This could lead to good photo opportunities which then get counted for the final tally of the Worlds' Largest People Chain.

National Action Weeks (GAW) – This week is the main focus of actions to take place during GAW.

Europe Coalitions - different lobby and campaign actions from January until June G8 (for which the Southern GAW activities can count for numbers of voices).


Education as a human right needs to be re-endorsed by World Leaders (reference Declaration of Human Rights). It allows a full focus on global leaders' commitments to EFA at a half way point to 2015. As the largest and most encompassing theme it could bring in a new constituency of supporters and civil society groups to the campaign such as Amnesty International. This could also broaden the membership base away from being mainly 'educationalists'.


This theme is enshrined in the Global Campaign For Education's [GCE] constitution and is a tacit basic principle for the who GCE campaign. It is quite a complex and subtle concept to explain as a theme in itself.

Media Possibilities

This theme would allow for good opportunities for powerful images and headlines about the effect of the violations to rights. It could draw out case studies about the lives of people are like when they are not able to receive an education. For this reason it would be a useful way of getting education issues into the mainstream media such as the tabloids.

Photos opportunities:
1. Chains of people or cut-outs around schools across the world with chains of people or cut-outs around parliamentary and prominent buildings;
2. Chains crossing boarders, boarding planes, trains & automobiles Cut-out chains around officials' cars.

Possible celebrities to endorse: Angelina Jolie and the Queen Of Jordan.

General Underlying Message

At least 80 million children are still out of school and many more are dropping out before they complete primary school. We are making a difference and joined up we can achieve much more. Progress needs to accelerate quickly if we are to reach the goal of having all children complete primary school by 2015.

In most cases it is possible to track this improvement to new government policies for example the abolition of fees/increased investment and international aid - which in many cases have been influenced by national and international campaigning.

To achieve this, education systems had to expand to absorb as many as 40 million more (owing to population growth). However it is still important to note thing we should keep in strong focus is that this is 80 million children who are not in school at all.

There are many more children who are not attending school in practice. The challenge therefore remains huge.

It is important to keep the general messaging from what EFA coalitions have been saying in previous years i.e. 80 million children and almost a billion adults still do not receive an education that is their RIGHT. It is imperative that leaders show political will and fulfil their commitments and promises made in Dakar 2000.

Therefore the general hierarchy of messages for the 2007 campaign are:
1. Education is about fundamental inherent human rights.
2. 2007 is the mid way point for the EFA goals and at current rates of progress these are not going to be met.
3. 80 million children are still out of school, and almost a billion adults are illiterate.
4. What are you as leaders going to do about it NOW before it is too late?

The previous Global Action Week campaigns have shown that if we unite and speak with one voice, we can make a powerful impact and force our leaders to take action before it is too late. The EFA goals must be met and the leaders of the world should not let another generation of children and adults go without an education.

Policy recommendations will be developed that build on those of previous years to address the wider obstacles to achieving the whole EFA agenda. These will be included in the planning pack that will be available on the GCE website: www.campaignforeducation.org and email by 27th October.

If you are uncertain about the work involved for the Week of Action please email the Action Week coordinator, Lucy Tweedie.

Download GAW 2007 Campaign Planning Pack and GAW 2007 materials design pack.

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