07.06.2017 - Geneva Office

At UN Human Rights Council, UNESCO stresses role of non-formal education in achieving 2030 Agenda


The UNESCO Office in Geneva emphasised the importance of flexible and alternative approaches to education and learning to complement formal schooling in its statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, held on 7 June 2017 in the context of the 35th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Welcoming the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education “Realizing the right to education through non-formal education”, the UNESCO representative recalled that “through SDG4, countries pledged to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. In this context, the importance of ensuring the fundamental right to education in all its dimensions, including through non-formal education, is decisive.”

The UNESCO representative highlighted that the Education 2030 Framework for Action, whose worldwide coordination is entrusted to UNESCO, provides guidance for countries in the implementation of SDG4-Education 2030. The Framework further underscores the need to establish multiple learning pathways and entry points at all ages and all educational levels.

In this context, he stressed that “non-formal education is an important means to offer wider educational opportunities, especially for vulnerable groups. Flexible and alternative forms of education may be instrumental in complementing formal education system, in particular in situations where they may not be efficient or accessible.”

Emphasising that non-formal education “enables learners to follow and remain in the path of education by adapting to their particular needs”, the UNESCO representative referred to the adoption in 2015 of UNESCO’s Recommendation on Adult Education and Learning, which affirms UNESCO’s global commitment to develop and nurture such forms of education and learning.

Highlighting the successful efforts of Member States in transforming this vision into action, the representative went on to underscore that “numerous examples of such positive measures at country level were shared within the framework of the 9th Consultation of Member States on the implementation of the Convention and the Recommendation against Discrimination in Education (2016-2017).”

UNESCO’s Global Database on the Right to Education is dedicated to such efforts and provides online access to information and official national documents.

In concluding, the UNESCO statement re-affirmed the key message that “reaching the hardest to reach is the top priority for achieving SDG4. Through following the Recommendations put forward by the Special Rapporteur and by engaging actively on a lifelong learning and rights-based approach, we have a good opportunity to foster flexible and alternative forms of learning, which complements formal schooling.”

To find out more about UNESCO’s role in leading the Education 2030 Agenda, please visit: en.unesco.org/education2030-sdg4

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