||49 Practical Activities and Methods for Human
Rights Education > Education for All?
Education for All?
Do you have a good memory? Now is the time
to test it!
|| Level 2
||6 - 30
|| In this activity participants have to locate and match
pairs of cards as they think out about the inequalities of
educational provision world-wide and how to achieve "Education
- The right to education
- The right to full development of one's personality
- The right to equality regardless of gender and social
- To reflect on education as a human rights issue
- To critically analyse the level of access to quality
- To encourage responsibility for attaining the goal
of Education for All
- 1 set of the game cards for every three or four participants
- 2 sheets of stiff paper or thin card (A4 size) for
every three or four participants and glue (optional but
- Paper and pens for notes in part 2
- Familiarise yourself with the cards.
- Copy the sheets of game cards and back them with the
stiff paper to make the cards more durable. Cut out the
40 cards.Make sure to mix them well so that matching pairs
are not adjacent.
The activity is divided into two parts: part 1, the memory game
and part 2, reporting on the issues.
Part 1, the memory game (10 minutes)
- Explain that there are twenty pairs of cards; each pair comprises
a statement card and a picture card. The task is to identify
the pairs and to match them. The texts on the cards relate either
to the aims of the World Education Forum (WEF), to bring about
"education for all", or to general issues of human
rights and education.
- Tell people how to play. The participants should form small
groups of three or four. They should spread the cards face down
on the floor. In turn, people turn over two cards. If one (or
both) of the cards is a statement card, then the player reads
out the text to the rest of the group. If the cards are a pair,
then the player keeps them and has another go. If the cards
do not match, then s/he turns them over so they lie face down
again on the floor in exactly the same spot as they were before.
The next player then has a go to turn over two cards. It is
a memory game, because people have to memorise where the different
cards lie, in order to be able to pick up matching pairs.
- The winner is the player who holds the most pairs of cards
at the end of the game.
Part 2. Reporting the issues (60 minutes)
- Summarise the issues on a flipchart. Ask people to read out
the headings on their cards (not the whole statement again)
while you write them down.
- Ask the group to identify four to six issues which interest
- Divide the group into sub-groups of 4 or 5 people. Ask each
sub-group to pick two of the issues they would most like to
discuss. (Try to organise it so that two different groups discuss
the same issue in order to generate more ideas. This will mean
that the sub-groups will have to do some negotiating about which
issues to discuss.)
- When the issues have been agreed and allocated, give the
groups 20 minutes to discuss their two chosen issues. The focus
of the discussions will differ slightly depending on the card.
If the card has a question, this should be answered. If the
card has a statement, people should prepare a critical comment.
- After 20 minutes, call people into plenary for reporting
back. Take each issue in turn. Give each group just 5 minutes
to feed back and allow no more than an extra 5 minutes for questions
from the floor.
- After all the groups have reported on all the issues, move
to the debriefing.
Debriefing and evaluation
You will have already had a good discussion about the issues,
so now go on to evaluate the game itself and what people learned.
- Did the participants enjoy the memory game?
- Was it a good way to start a discussion on the issues of
- How did the discussions in the groups go? Did everyone feel
that they could participate?
- Are there too many challenges? Is it possible to have "education
- What can you, your group, your community do to work towards
achieving the goal of education for all in your country and/or
in developing countries?
Tips for facilitators
The intention in using this
technique is to bring an ingredient of fun to the process of gaining
information which will be needed for the discussion.
This is a fairly simple activity to facilitate. Just make sure
that you have read all the cards before you do the activity. Be
sure that you know which card matches with which so that during
the game you can offer guidance and verify that pairs are correct.
When explaining how to play the game, you may like to illustrate
the instructions by showing what one of the pairs looks like.
Some of the cards contain acronyms, for instance WEF (World
Education Forum). Make sure that when you introduce the game you
explain what these letters stand for (see under "Further
Note that one-third of the cards contain statements relating
to the goals of education for all as stated by the World Education
Forum (WEF), Dakar, Senegal in April 2000. The rest of the cards
are on human rights and education issues, or on issues that have
to be addressed in order to achieve good quality education for
If there is not enough time to do part 2, you could use the
technique described in the activity "Just
a minute" instead. Ask each participant to choose one
of the issues on the cards they picked up, and to speak about
it for one minute without hesitation or repetition. This is also
a good option if you feel that the group needs to improve their
oral presentation skills.
Suggestions for follow up
Several issues which come up in the memory game can be pursued
in other activities. For instance, if you want to explore the
issue of budgets for education and other social needs and the
budget spent on militarisation, you can do the activity "Money
to spend". Issues relating to child labour and lack of
access to education can be explored in the activity "Ashique's
If you want to get an overview of the main issues, including
education, that are relevant to the debate on development, then
you could do the activity, "The
path to development" in the all different all equal
education pack .
Ideas for action
The memory cards show numerous problems which hamper the "Education
for All" project. The group could choose any one of the problems
on which to do research, to find ideas for solutions and finally
to take action. Refer to chapter 3 on taking action for tips about
how to go about this.
Why not write letters to MPs enquiring about what your country
is doing in order to fulfil the goals that were set during the
World Education Forum?
| Further information
The right to education is
one of the recognised social and economic rights. However,
while there is a general acceptance and commitment by states
to offer free basic education to all, the reality is that
free education is not for all, but for a minority.
To face this challenge, the
international community gathered in Senegal in the year
2000 for a World Education Forum (WEF). The conference aims
were to review the progress made during the 1990s to provide
basic education, and to reinvigorate the commitment to Education
for All. Some 1100 participants from 164 countries adopted
the Dakar Framework for Action, committing themselves to
achieving quality basic education for all by 2015. UNESCO
was entrusted with the overall responsibility for co-ordinating
all the international players and for sustaining the global
It was acknowledged that different
countries face different challenges. For instance, some
countries face lack of resources, while others lack the
political will. One of the results of the meeting was the
acknowledgement that in order to reach and sustain the goals
and targets of Education for All, it is necessary to establish
broad-based partnerships within countries, supported by
co-operation with regional and international agencies and
During this meeting the fundamental
importance of education for sustainable development, peace,
the effective participation of society and for sound economies
in the twenty-first century was highlighted. A commendable
result of the WEF was the setting of specific goals, with
specific time limits, as well as the description of actions
that must be taken at all levels in order to achieve Education
for All. Whether these goals will be reached and the actions
carried out is a question that can only be answered if everyone
at every level of society is aware of and fights for Education
||Money & Education
Lack of resources is the main threat to education for all.
Without financial means, governments cannot meet their commitments
to education for all. It is also a question of standards.
Poorly paid teachers and lack of materials jeopardize the
quality of education. Without resources, education is meaningless;
no money, no education! Do you agree?
Whoever thinks that globalisation only brings advantages to
education through access to new technology is wrong! The effects
of rapid trade liberalization, and the need for structural
adjustment characteristic of globalisation, have threatened
the revenue base of governments in several countries, but
mainly developing countries. In these circumstances funding
for education is often hit very hard.
||Food & Education
In developing countries there is a strong view that food and
education should come together: a hungry student cannot concentrate
Food is often used as an incentive for parents to send their
children to school; if the children were not fed at school,
then they would send them out to work instead.
||Education & the
In many countries, information technology has become a core
part of the education process. It is seen as essential for
research and for homework. Many would agree that the Internet
has opened new 'ways' for education, but it has also closed
some. The gap between developed and developing countries has
increased. In many countries not only are there no PCs, there
is not even electricity
||Education & Alcohol
In many schools/universities, alcohol abuse is a big problem.
It prevents students from learning and increases violence.
Most schools have a policy that no alcohol can be brought
onto the premises, but this does not seem to work.
What do you think can be done in order to solve this problem?
and further) Education
In terms of human rights law, nation states have the duty
to provide free basic (primary) education only. Their commitments
do not extend to higher or further education.
Should the State's duty be extended to university level? And
if so, is it a realistic demand?
||Teachers & Education
The quality of teachers/lecturers is sometimes a problem;
they may lack experience or training to be top quality educators.
There are calls for minimum requirements for teachers/lecturers,
such as a teaching degree for school teachers and a doctorate
for university lecturers. Are these demands realistic or would
they only increase the problem of teacher shortages?
||Education & Environment
The lifestyles of the majority of people in European countries
are unsustainable. If people are to make informed choices
about how to change their lifestyles they need to understand
ecological relationships, economics, politics and history.
They need intercultural skills and values of responsibility
and concern. How would you include education for sustainability
into the curriculum?
Governments have the duty to guarantee free primary education
to all. The reality is that in many countries if a family
has no resources to pay for the fees and/or materials, their
children cannot go to school
||Discipline & Education
Schools and universities in different countries use different
means to ensure discipline. Methods include corporal punishment,
suspension, extra-work, expulsion and participation in a school
or college council. What do you think is the best approach
to guarantee discipline in an educational setting?
||Women & Education
In developing countries, 78% of girls are in schools, as opposed
to almost 86% of boys.
Some 60% of out-of-school children are girls.
One of the goals of the World Education Forum (WEF) is to
eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education
by 2005, and to achieve gender equality in education by 2015.
||Peace & Education
"Peace starts at home"
Educational institutions are often seen as students' second
homes. Education for peace should then be part of the formal
education curriculum as well as being encouraged in non-formal
educational settings. How would you include peace education
within the formal curriculum?
||Education & Equality
Extremes in pre-school enrolment figures range from close
to 100% coverage in Bermuda, Malaysia, Belgium and Sweden
to 2% or less in countries suffering from war and economic
||Sports & Education
A) Sports need not be compulsory during the entire school
period. If time is lacking for other subjects, these should
B) Sports should always be present during the entire school
period. It teaches many things that cannot be learnt in other
subjects, such as co-operation and full development of body
Which statement do you agree with?
||Education & Militarisation
Even though education and the military are seen as two separate
things, they are in reality closely related. In many highly
militarised countries a high proportion of the budget is allocated
to military expenditure and not enough money is left for the
social sector, especially education.
||Social Exclusion &
Not everyone can be included in the State educational system.
Street children, poor children, full-time child workers are
usually not catered for by the school state system. In Romania,
the foundation "Back to School" caters to the needs
of children excluded from the state system - giving them a
chance of education and better employment opportunities later
||Education & Minorities
The inclusion of minorities in school/universities is a common
problem in multicultural societies. Besides the issue of discrimination
against the person, differences of religion and language also
present the system with challenges . How would you adapt the
system and the curriculum to meet the needs of minorities?
Adult illiteracy is a big problem in countries without even
basic education. One of the WEF's goals is a 50 % improvement
in levels of adult literacy by 2015.
Many European countries have made commitments to "life-long
learning". However, they fail to deliver adequate further
education to adults. What do you think a government's educational
priorities should be?
||Human Rights Education
Human rights education (HRE) in formal, non-formal or informal
education is considered to be a responsibility of the government.
Why then in civil society should NGOs be responsible for something
that is the government's duty and responsibilit?
||Aids/HIV & Education
"The first battle to be won in the war against
AIDS is the battle to smash the wall of silence and stigma
surrounding it" (Kofi Annan). It is necessary to break
the silence to end discrimination and to prevent further transmissions.
The HIV/AIDS crisis should be at the centre of national educational
agendas. What can be done to fight HIV/AIDS in educational