Squaring the circle: EFA in the post-2015 global agenda
Publisher© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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CitationAhmed, M. (2014). Squaring the circle: EFA in the post-2015 global agenda. International Journal of Educational Development, 39, 64-69. doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.07.014
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) initiative have influenced educational development in poor countries both positively and negatively. From the perspective of Bangladesh, international assistance in the context of EFA and MDG has led to expansion at the cost of educational outcomes with quality and equity, to put it with only mild simplification. There will be unfinished tasks beyond 2015. But the future has to be envisioned with a lens broader and deeper beyond the unrealized and yet 'minimalist' 2015 agenda. Two inter-connected questions arise. The challenge in Bangladesh and other developing countries is how the global agenda, reflecting common essential goals (thus the least common denominator), can be taken as the floor rather than the ceiling by adapting, broadening and deepening global goals and indicators for the country. A related concern is how international cooperation can be supportive rather than confining. They pose a dilemma of squaring the circle, so to speak.This paper, drawing on the on-going process and substance of civil society discussion in Bangladesh, looks at the two questions. Experience in Bangladesh may bear similarity to and be relevant at least for other countries in South Asia.