Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"Global-Literacy Work at UNESCO Undergoes Shake-Up"

Read the article subtitled "Activities and jobs cut; resources shifted from Paris to regional office" by Kathleen Kennedy Manzo in Education Week, April 17, 2007. (Registration required, but free.)

is reorganizing its education sector and decentralizing its extensive literacy operation, with the aim of strengthening that work in the world’s neediest countries." While the attempt "has earned widespread support among member nations and experts in the field, a recent shakeup in its leadership, dissatisfaction over the restructuring process, and uncertainty about how the changes will play out have generated worries over UNESCO’s capacity for advancing the cause of universal literacy......

"The United States rejoined UNESCO in 2003 after a nearly 20-year absence because of the promise of straightening out the organization, which had long drawn complaints of mismanagement and of an anti-democratic agenda.......

"Since then, the education sector has halved the number of activities it supports, to 750, reduced high-level positions, and honed its focus on countries with the highest illiteracy rates to accelerate their progress toward universal basic education.

"The organization’s historic push for improving literacy has undergone some of the most visible changes. UNESCO is responsible for overseeing the U.N. Literacy Decade, which began in 2003, and the ambitious Education for All initiative, which aims to provide basic education for all the world’s people by 2015. Through its new Literacy Initiative for Empowerment, or LIFE, the organization is pressing for country-led education policies and a greater focus on nonformal educational programs targeting children, youths, and adults who are not in school."

No comments: