Yesterday the Outcome Document of the September 2015 UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda, Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, was adopted by consensus (and much applause) at the UN in New York. This post is just a quick review of what the outcome document says on education.
What does this final outcome document have to say about education?
The outcome document is certainly ambitious, and envisages ‘a world with universal literacy… A world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels’ (p.3).
It contains a whole paragraph spelling out more of what this means:
‘We commit to providing inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels – early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary, technical and vocational training. All people, irrespective of sex, age, race, ethnicity, and persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous peoples, children and youth, especially those in vulnerable situations, should have access to life-long learning opportunities that help them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to exploit opportunities and to participate fully in society. We will strive to provide children and youth with a nurturing environment for the full realization of their rights and capabilities, helping our countries to reap the demographic dividend including through safe schools and cohesive communities and families’ (p.6)
13 education targets across 4 Sustainable Development Goals
In the agreed outcome document, education has its stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) with 10 targets, in addition to 3 other education targets under SDGs linked to health, work and climate change.
The full list of agreed education-related targets appears below:
Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education
Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes
4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education
4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
4.b By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries
4.c By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States
Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
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NORRAG (Network for International Policies and Cooperation in Education and Training) is an internationally recognised, multi-stakeholder network which has been seeking to inform, challenge and influence international education and training policies and cooperation for almost 30 years. NORRAG has more than 4,200 registered members worldwide and is free to join. Not a member? Join free here.