The Sustainable Development Goal on Education: A Call for Innovative Strategies and Regional Approaches
By admin February 22, 2017

Photo by Roman Manger

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Education is set to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” UNESCO is the UN body that was entrusted with the leadership to coordinate and monitor the Education 2030 agenda. Unfortunately, UNESCO report finds that only 64 countries met the 2015 target on primary education, while 40 percent will not achieve the 2030 goal on secondary education until 2100.

This data therefore calls for new approaches as Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO argues, “We need the political will, the policies, the innovation and the resources to buck this trend,” as she explains that “on current trends only 70% of children in low income countries will complete primary school in 2030, a goal that should have been achieved in 2015.”

Even though a majority of the countries not expected to achieve universal primary education, at the set target, are in Africa, countries in Central Asia are having difficulties implementing the SDG on education (SDG 4) target at a regional and a local level.

From February 22 to 24, 2017, UNESCO Almaty, will hold a sub regional meeting on Education 2030 so as to guaranty the successful planning, implementation, and monitoring of the SDG4-Education 2030 in Central Asia. This cluster bureau for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will be able to discuss the issue together. The SDG4 target and its implementation at a regional and local level is a challenge for these countries, as it must reflect local characteristics and draw resources and data at a national level.

This will also be the opportunity to launch the 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report “Education for People and Planet: Creating Sustainable Futures for all” in Russian. The Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report provides independent monitoring and reporting of the SDG4. It is an effective tool for governments and policy makers to employ in order to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG4.

Global tools for monitoring education systems and policies are important but they necessitate general consensus on the details of their implementation process and even though a global framework remains important, regional approaches to education reforms have proven to be more effective. Indeed, this facilitates partnerships as shared contexts develop interests in partners’ performances. But this double system requires coordination of monitoring bodies to avoid overlaps and reduce gaps between global and regional education systems.

These set targets and reports to ensure their success are an important reminder that education is a right and an effective response to social, economic, and environmental challenges we face today. In the past 50 years, improved education has contributed to 50 percent of economic growth in countries part of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The primary objective of the SDG on Education is to leave no one behind. It is therefore crucial that global policies be adapted at a local and regional level in order to insure the success of these targets for everyone.


Read more:

UNESCO: Sub-Regional Meeting on Education 2030 in Almaty

The Guardian: Poorest countries hit hardest as world lags behind on global education goals

Global Education Monitoring Report 2016

UN Women: SDG4

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