Lima Statement prioritises equity, inclusion and quality education

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Ministers, vice-ministers and governmental representatives from the Latin America and Caribbean region agreed on a vision and commitments for education post-2015 at a regional Education for All, UNESCO meeting held in Lima, Peru.

The Lima Statement  calls for an education which advances in guaranteeing the right to education for all and responds to the region’s diversity. The Declaration highlights the need for quality, inclusive, lifelong learning that places teachers in a key role. The document is the contribution of education ministers who attended the Regional Ministerial Meeting “Education for All in Latin America and the Caribbean: Current State and Post-2015 Challenges”, which was held on 30 and 31 October, 2014.

The meeting contributes to the global process of formulating the post-2015 development agenda, taking into account the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) drawn up by the United Nations General Assembly’s Open Working Group, and defining the global post-2015 education agenda, designed at the Global Education Meeting (GEM), held between 12 and 14 May, 2014 in Muscat, Oman.

The regional priorities for the post-2015 education agenda approved in Lima will also be presented at the World Education Forum, which will be held in the Republic of Korea in May 2015. This global meeting will summarise the achievements and pending tasks from the 2000-2015 period, and will establish a new universal education agenda and a corresponding monitoring framework involving countries from all around the world. 

The Lima Statement underscores that “Achieving equity and inclusion requires securing the right to education of all children, young people and adults, and their rights within and through education to realize their potential and aspirations. This also requires responding to the diversity of needs among all learners by increasing their participation in learning, and by reducing exclusion from and within education.”

The region’s education ministers, vice-ministers, and governmental representatives agreed to address all forms of exclusion and discrimination, disparities and inequalities in access to and completion of education, as well as in learning cycles, in their processes and results. 

Qian Tang, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education, valued these priorities. In his speech at the event, Mr Tang stated that increased public investment in education must be directed towards providing better quality teaching, “the greatest challenge in the education agenda worldwide”. He recognised that significant advances in access have been achieved over the past 15 years, but that education must step forward and become a key area in the region’s sustainable development, helping to put an end to inequality and extreme poverty in all its forms. 

Meanwhile, the Director of Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Sequeira, explained that “the declaration reflects the region’s diversity and its hunger for sustainable and lasting development through new education goals”. He added that “during the last fifteen years we have advanced in education in the region, but there are challenges and emerging issues that today we must include in discussion in search of solutions in favour of guaranteeing the right to a quality education for all”.

Priority areas of action

 The participants defined seven priorities for Latin America and the Caribbean; in summary

  • Equity, quality and inclusion
  • Inclusive and equitable lifelong learning for all  
  • Skills and competencies for life and work  
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Quality of education  
  • Teachers, educators, school principals and school leaders
  • Governance and financing

They also recommended that UNESCO continues to develop monitoring instruments such as the Global Monitoring Report (GMR).

The Statement concludes by requesting UNESCO to continue to provide leadership in coordinating the development of the post-2015 education agenda, with the support of the agencies associated with Education For All, as well as civil society organizations, regional and sub-regional groups, and diverse partners, and that the Organizations work on developing the corresponding Framework for Action. 

The Regional Ministerial Meeting “Education For All in Latin America and the Caribbean: Current State and Post-2015 Challenges” took place in Lima, Peru on 30 and 31 October, thanks to the generous collaboration of the country’s Government and Ministry of Education.