Education for all comes with a multitude of benefits that are both personal as well as financial. Studies show that early literacy provides a solid foundation for developing oral and written language skills later on in life. Education has a direct impact on a child’s reproductive health hence there is need for provision of quality basic education for children, youth as well as adults.

About Education For All (EFA)
This is an initiative of UNESCO and a global commitment whose aim is to ensure that every child, youth and adults have access to quality basic education. In order to achieve this initiative, a broad coalition of civil society groups, national governments as well as development agencies such as the World Bank Group and UNESCO came together with a commitment to realize six main objectives namely:
i. Expansion and improvement of early childhood education and care especially among the most vulnerable children.
ii. To ensure that all children especially girls from minority ethnic communities have access to free, quality and compulsory education by 2015.
iii. To ensure that there is equitable access to the right learning as well as life-skill programs by both children and adults.
iv. To ensure that adult literacy especially among women improves by 50 percent by 2015 by providing equitable access to quality basic education as well as continuing education to all adults.
v. Elimination of gender disparities in both primary and secondary education by ensuring that girls have access to good quality basic education.
vi. Ensure that all aspects of quality education are improved in a bid to achieve measurable and recognized learning outcomes for all, especially in life skills, literacy and numeracy.

Barriers In Education For All
Over the past few years, there has been substantial progress towards the realization of the EFA objectives but there have been some challenges as well. Today, it is estimated that at least 250 million children all over the world are illiterate, even after spending more than three years in school. Millions of children living in conflict-prone countries are out of school while in the sub-Saharan Africa, more than 50 percent of out-of-school children are girls.
By 2011, 40 percent of countries had not achieved gender parity in the enrollment of children at the primary education level and only 38 percent of countries had achieved gender parity in the enrollment at the secondary level. Teacher training is also a major concern as less that 75 percent of primary school teachers have adequate training. Training through online courses can somehow lessen this gap but it’s not fully achievable due to lack of resources in many countries. Access to education is Sub-Saharan Africa is still below par as only 18 percent of young children could access pre-primary education 2011.

Solutions to Common Issues In Education For All
The World Bank is continuously supporting EFA to ensure improved learning outcomes and quality of education, improved and equitable access to primary education for all, reduction of the dropout rate among girls as well as promotion of early childhood education. Disabled students too have challenges accessing education hence there is need to come up with community outreach programs that are capable of raising awareness and dispelling common myths about disabilities.

Concluding Remarks
Education for all is a critical aspect in the attainment of all the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Without access to quality education by all, it will be impossible to achieve environmental sustainability, decreased poverty, improved health as well as other MDGs.

Author's Bio: 

Having more than 15 years of professional experience in IT, I love to write on various topics related to Information Technology and Education.