This week in Paris, the international education community adopted the Education 2030 Framework for Action, the foundation that will anchor global efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). This marked the end of a crucial process that began many months ago with national, regional and global consultations, leading to the commitment made in Incheon to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (Incheon Declaration).
I was pleased to join global leaders, including ministers of education and representatives from civil society, private sector and private foundations, and teachers, convened by UNESCO to consider and approve a comprehensive plan, the Education 2030 Framework for Action, designed to achieve inclusive quality education for all.
Now it is time to put this new framework into action. The Global Partnership for Education stands ready to contribute to and support the work ahead. We welcome the call for GPE to participate in the global coordination mechanism and become an implementing partner of the Education 2030 agenda.
Key highlights of the Framework for Action
The Framework for Action is the roadmap to lead the international community and national governments in their efforts to achieve SDG 4 over the next 15 years. It guides all actors working at country, regional, and global level to work in synergy towards a common goal. And it provides a set of indicative strategies- ‘different recipes’- to support the achievement of targets to be adapted by each country.
Specifically, the Framework:
- sets out a universal agenda and provides recommendations for strengthening policies and education systems.
- puts a strong emphasis on equity and inclusion and developing strategies to reaching the most vulnerable and marginalized.
- highlights the importance of gender equality, ensuring that girls and boys, women and men should have the same opportunities to access quality education.
- moves beyond access to education to focus also on the quality of education and the central role that teachers and adequate education facilities play in this respect.
- underscores the importance of developing strategies to address education in emergencies.
Member states will be the main custodians and drivers of the Framework for Action, as we work jointly to address the challenges of supporting learning, equity and children in the most difficult situations. The Framework for Action promotes key principles of country leadership and partnership.
The business model of the Global Partnership is designed around these principles. GPE is putting them into practice in 61 developing countries. By developing more effective and sustainable education systems, GPE is helping to improve the return on education investments overall.
A robust global coordination mechanism
The Education 2030 Agenda will require strong global coordination and engagement of implementing partners such as the Global Partnership if it is to succeed.
As noted in the Framework for Action, the Global Partnership will serve on the Steering Committee and provide guidance on priorities and actions for the successful achievement of the agenda. In addition to the Steering Committee, the Global Education Meetings, regional meetings, and the UNESCO-led Collective Consultation of NGOs on Education for All will constitute the global coordination mechanism of the Education 2030 Agenda.
As stated in the Framework:
"The World Education Forum 2015 co-convenors, in particular UNESCO, as well as other partners, including GPE as a multi-stakeholder financing platform, will individually and collectively support countries in implementing Education 2030 by providing technical advice, national and regional capacity development and financial support, as well as support for monitoring, based on their respective mandates and comparative advantages, in complementary ways.”(Paragraph 91, page 26)”
Addressing the education financing gap
A more ambitious and comprehensive education agenda will not be met unless governments provide increased and equitable domestic financing to implement it. Even though domestic financing will be the primary funding source, additional external financing will still be needed to address the $39 billion annual financing gap to provide quality pre-primary, primary, and secondary education to all children in low and lower-middle income countries by 2030.
Scaling up and strengthening multi-stakeholder financing mechanisms, such as the Global Partnership, will also be crucial to achieve inclusive quality education for all. This was officially recognized and documented at the July 2015 Financing for Development Conference in Ethiopia. This global recognition is reaffirmed in the Framework for Action:
“Investment and international cooperation will be scaled up to allow all children to complete free, equitable, inclusive, quality early childhood, primary and secondary education, including by scaling up and strengthening multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the GPE.” (Paragraph 107, page 31)
The Global Partnership stands ready to bring together donors, developing country governments, international organizations, civil society, teacher organizations, the private sector, and foundations to galvanize global and national support to fulfill every child’s right to education.
It is now time for action, for the global community to support national leadership, and to reinforce our collective commitments to respond to the urgent need to provide education for all.