Setting the compass to ensure quality education for all

24 May 2016

This week, UNESCO as the UN specialized education agency will convene a number of key education stakeholders to plot a roadmap to achieve the ambitious SDG4 of ensuring “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, by 2030.

The first meeting of the newly-constituted SDG4-Education 2030 Steering Committee will take place in Paris on 25-26 May 2016. The Steering Committee is a democratic, multi-stakeholder partnership acting as a sounding board providing both guidance and a forward-looking vision on how to put the education agenda into action.

“It’s evident that the success of the Education 2030 agenda will depend on a collective effort and the Steering Committee will provide strategic guidance, review progress drawing on the Global Education Monitoring Report, and make recommendations to the education community on key priorities,” says Jordan Naidoo, UNESCO Director for Education 2030 Support and Coordination.

Not a simple task

Despite progress made over the past fifteen years by the international community in expanding access to education, much remains to be done. The Sustainable Development Agenda, adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 with the aim of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development, included education as a stand-alone goal. Its fundamental importance is also reflected in other education-related targets under other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Their task is not simple in the current global context. The interlocked challenges of climate change and conflict mean that many pupils in the future will be displaced. Barriers to female education remain: many girls and women will never enter a classroom. Changes to technology in the workplace mean that lifelong learning opportunities are increasingly important.

A collective effort

Within the transformative Sustainable Development Agenda, UNESCO is entrusted through the Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action, adopted at the World Education Forum in May 2015, to lead and coordinate.

The SDG4-Education 2030 Steering Committee involves a broad spectrum of the global education community. It includes representatives from Members States, 3 per region* and the co-convening agencies of SDG4-Education 2030 (United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Bank, United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Population Fund, UN Women and International Labour Organisation). Other key partners include the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Global Partnership for Education, Non-Governmental Organisations, teacher organizations and regional organizations.

All members representing each constituency have strong technical expertise and experience in national or sub-national education policy development at a senior level. The composition of the Steering Committee gives a greater voice to Member States on how the agenda should be implemented. The Steering Committee will set the compass for the way forward for the next fifteen years in achieving this ambitious goal, ensuring that no-one is left behind.

  • The countries are: Belgium, France, Norway, Latvia, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Benin, Kenya, Zambia, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, as well as Pakistan representing the E-9 initiative.