Strong educational policies are the lifeblood of improving educational equity worldwide. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal for education (SDG4), education systems need structures and processes that enable quality learning experiences for all. Without strategic planning to implement the procedures, regulations and standards necessary to meet local, regional, and global educational needs, SDG4 progress will be limited.
UNESCO’s programme on education policies, planning and financing assists Member States on the following areas:
Promoting a rights-based approach to education
UNESCO recognizes the state as the ultimate duty-bearer in protecting, respecting and fulfilling the right to education. The Right to Education programme guides and supports Member States to review and update their legal and institutional frameworks to ensure the realization of the right to equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all, develop tools to monitor the right to education in the context of SDG 4, and assist in incorporating the right to education into national legal and institutional frameworks.
Mainstreaming SDG4 into national education policies, strategies and plans
UNESCO’s sector-wide policy and planning programme supports Member States to develop and implement sector-wide education policies, strategies and plans, as well as monitor and evaluate their implementation within the Education 2030 Framework for Action. This will be done through education policy reviews and fostering policy dialogues, exchange of experiences and peer learning around policy formulation, implementation and assessment, and strengthening support for the development of SDG4-compliant EMIS and use of education sector simulation models including cost simulations.
Optimizing the use of assessment for better policy alignment and improved learning outcomes
UNESCO’s programme on system alignment for better learning outcomes (SABLO) will provide support to Member States through the ongoing operations of its established networks at the regional and national levels. Mobilizing research and knowledge to support networking, knowledge exchange and knowledge brokering in the area of learning assessments, the programme will strengthen national capacities in the use of assessment results to inform education policy and practice and system alignment between curricula, teacher training, teaching and learning practices, educational resources, and school management.
Collaborate and reach Sustainable Development Goal targets related to early childhood care and education
UNESCO’s programme on Early childhood care and education (ECCE) offers support to countries to reach Target 4.2 of Sustatinable Development Goal 4 for early childhood in synergy with targets for essential child health, nutrition, water and sanitation, child rights and protection, disability, and gender.
ECCE started an initiative called The Global Partnership Strategy, a collective effort of five champion countries and development partner agencies to stimulate discussion, innovative dialogue and collect experts’ inputs on key enabling factors to advance the early childhood care and education agenda. The strategy includes initial education, child care and development, parenting support for health, nutrition, water and sanitation, and child rights and protection.