Goals and Targets
4. The ultimate goal affirmed by the World Declaration on Education for All is to meet the basic learning needs of all children, youth, and adults. The long-term effort to attain that goal can be maintained more effectively if intermediate goals are established and progress toward these goals is measured. Appropriate authorities at the national and subnational levels may establish such intermediate goals, taking into account the objectives of the Declaration as well as overall national development goals and priorities.
5. Intermediate goals can usefully be formulated as specific targets within national and subnational plans for educational development. Such targets usually (i) specify expected attainments and outcomes in reference to terminal performance specifications within an appropriate time-frame, (ii) specify priority categories (e.g., the poor, the disabled), and (iii) are formulated in terms such that progress toward them can be observed and measured. These targets represent a "floor" (but not a "ceiling") for the continued development of education programmes and services.
6. Time-bound targets convey a sense of urgency and serve as a reference against which indices of implementation and accomplishment can be compared. As societal conditions change, plans and targets can be reviewed and updated. Where basic education efforts must be focussed to meet the needs of specific social groups or population categories, linking targets to such priority categories of learners can help to maintain the attention of planners, practitioners and evaluators on meeting the needs of these learners. Observable and measurable targets assist in the objective evaluation of progress.
7. Targets need not be based solely on current trends and resources. Initial targets can reflect a realistic appraisal of the possibilities presented by the Declaration to mobilize additional human, organisational, and financial capacities within a cooperative commitment to human development. Countries with low literacy and school enrolment rates, and very limited national resources, will need to make hard choices in establishing national targets within a realistic time-frame.
8. Countries may wish to set their own targets for the 1990s in terms of the following proposed dimensions:
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