Global Action Week for Education, 23-29 April 2017


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Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) is an international annual campaign led by the Global Campaign for Education with support from UNESCO to raise awareness of the importance of education for achieving sustainability and the commitments made by all to reach the global education goal by 2030. This year’s theme of ‘Accountability for SDG 4 and Citizen Participation’ will highlight the importance of transparent, accountable and participatory governance for delivering on the full SDG 4 agenda. From 23 to 29 April, the GAWE campaign will promote the vital role of citizen participation in education policy making and monitoring progress.

Key UNESCO Messages on Accountability and Citizen Participation

  1. Education is a fundamental human right and an enabling right. To fulfil this right, countries must ensure universal access to inclusive and equitable quality education and learning, at least nine years of which should be free and compulsory, leaving no one behind.
  2. Education is a public good. As duty bearers, governments have the primary responsibility to deliver on the right to education, and a central role as custodians of efficient, equitable and effective management and financing of public education.
  3. As a shared societal endeavor, education implies an inclusive process of public policy formulation and implementation. Civil society, teachers and educators, the private sector, communities, families, youth and children all have important roles in realizing the right to quality education.
  4. All partners must be held accountable: multilateral organizations should be accountable to their Member States; education ministries and other related ministries to citizens; donors to national governments and citizens; and schools and teachers to the education community and, more broadly, to citizens.
  5. Systems of mutual accountability should include transparent monitoring and reporting on education financing, with particular attention to ensuring that financial resources are reaching the most vulnerable populations and the least developed countries.
  6. Improving governance and accountability can increase efficiency and effective use of existing resources and ensure that financing reaches the communities and learners most in need.
  7. Governments should establish procedures to genuinely involve all stakeholders in the planning, implementation and monitoring of education policies and strategies. Participation must begin with the involvement of families and communities to boost transparency and to guarantee good governance in the administration of education.
  8. It is an Agenda of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Key SDG4-Education 2030 Commitments

Through SDG4-Education 2030, all countries commit to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. No education target should be considered met unless it is met by all.

In particular, all countries commit to:
  - Ensure the provision of 12 years of free, publicly funded, equitable quality primary and secondary education, of which at least nine years are compulsory,  leading to relevant learning outcomes.
  - Encourage the provision of at least one year of free and compulsory quality pre-primary education and that all children have access to quality early childhood development, care and education.
  - Ensure that education leads to effective acquisition of basic competencies as a building block for lifelong learning.
  - Ensure relevance of learning for both the world of work and for citizenship in a global world.
  - Ensure more equitable access to all levels of education and vocational training for vulnerable populations including persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples, and ensure gender equality in education by 2030.
  - Ensure that all youth [15-24 years of age] have adequate literacy and numeracy skills.
  - Ensure expanded and equitable access to vocational skills development and higher education.
  - Ensure safe and inclusive learning environments.
  - Ensure adequate teacher recruitment, training and professional development, and status.

All countries are urged to adhere to the international and regional benchmarks of allocating efficiently at least 4 – 6% of Gross Domestic Product and/or at least 15 – 20% of total public expenditure to education.

SDG4-Education 2030 recognizes that the fulfilment of all commitments related to official development assistance (ODA) is crucial, including the commitments by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) for ODA to developing countries.

Message and interviews

Irina Bokova,
UNESCO Director General

Aaron Benavot, GEM Report Director & Jordan Naidoo,
Director of the Division for Education 2030

Accountability and Education 2030, Jordan Naidoo and Aaron Benavot        
Watch the video message

Listen to the podcast on accountability in the context of the Education 2030 Agenda