Education for All – A Quiet Revolution

  • Colin Power
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 27)


The Education for All (EFA) movement is a global movement committed to providing quality basic education for all children, youth and adults. The movement stemmed from concerns voiced by UNESCO, UNICEF and developing countries about the growing number of children, youth and adults whose right to even the most basic education was being denied. Education was not keeping pace with population growth. Education and health, the key areas for development, suffered badly from the savage reduction in resources available to developing countries during the economic crisis of the 1980s, particularly in the context of structural adjustment policies. Crippled by debt repayments and plunging export commodity prices, developing countries were forced to slash their education budgets. Spending on education per inhabitant fell by 65 % in Sub-Saharan Africa and by 40 % in Latin America between 1980 and 1987 (Samoff J, Coping with crisis: austerity, adjustment and human resources. Cassell, London, 1994). Paradoxically, as poverty increased in the world’s poorest countries, official development aid fell from nearly $80 billion a year in 1985 to around $65 billion in the early 1990s. Whatever was happening to the peace dividend expected to flow from reductions in arms expenditures at the end of the Cold War, it was not being invested in reducing poverty or in education.


Education for all • Early childhood Primary education Literacy Youth Adults Basic learning needs Goals Framework 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Power
    • 1
  1. 1.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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