A transformative vision for education over the next 15 years has been adopted at the World Education Forum (WEF) in Incheon, Republic of Korea. Oshun Partnership’s Sarah Beeching was one of the attendees and has welcomed the declaration amongst the global education community; including government ministers from more than 100 countries, non-governmental organisations and youth groups.
Life-long learning opportunities for all
There are approximately 58 million children out of school, with half of them living in conflict-affected environments. In addition, 250 million children are not learning basic skills, even though half of them have spent at least four years in school.
The declaration is an historic commitment and has been described as a huge step forward. The aim is to transform lives through a new vision for education in order to encourage countries to provide inclusive, equitable, quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all.
Education as a catalyst
In order to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it is essential to focus on education. Education acts as a foundation to eradicate poverty, boost shared prosperity and and build peaceful, tolerant societies. The declaration demonstrates a common commitment to deliver a new vision of how education can transform lives. Education must not just be one of the 17 SDGs but a fundamental factor in achieving all of the goals.
“If this generation of children is to someday reduce the inequalities and injustices that afflict the world today, we must give all our children a fair chance to learn. This must be our collective vision and commitment,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake.
The declaration recognises the Global Partnership for Education as a multi-stakeholder financing platform for education to support the implementation of the agenda. This recognition may potentially transform the internal architecture of future global coordination. The declaration calls on WEF 2015 co-convenors, and in particular UNESCO, as well as on all partners, to individually and collectively support countries in implementing the 2030 education agenda.
Effective implementation will require strong regional coordination and rigorous monitoring and evaluation of the education agenda. It will also require more funding, especially for the countries furthest from providing inclusive, quality education. The Declaration and Framework will urge countries to set nationally appropriate spending targets and increase Official Development Assistance to low-income countries.
In a recent article Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi makes the case for education:
“I refuse to accept that the world is so poor that it cannot educate its children.
Through political will, adequate financing, ingenious partnerships between civil society, corporate and youth, we can achieve it. UN agencies must work more proactively, in coordination with and in cognizance of broader issues. Education for all can be a reality; a reality to be cherished by this very generation.”
The Incheon Declaration provides a vision for a future with education at its heart. The historic commitment will bring us a step forward in creating a better world.
Read the full Incheon Declaration.