» Education for development: the “Big Push” continues in Dakar
18.03.2013 - Education Sector

Education for development: the “Big Push” continues in Dakar

UNESCO/M. Hofer

Education is an enabler for reaching all development goals. That is why it must continue to be a top priority on the development agenda after 2015 - the deadline for reaching the internationally-agreed Millennium Development (MDG) and Education for All (EFA) Goals.

This is UNESCO's pledge to the Global Consultation on Education in the Post 2015 Agenda, taking place in Dakar on 18-19 March 2013. The Global Consultation is part of UNESCO's efforts to accelerate this push beyond 2015.  

"Education is not only a human right, it is fundamental to realizing other rights, and an enabler for reaching all the MDGs," says Olav Seim, Director of the EFA Global Partnerships Team in UNESCO, in a recent interview. 

However, despite impressive progress in the two education-related MDGs over the last decade, the number of out-of-school children has stagnated, along with aid to education has now stagnated. "It is misleading to give the impression that education is doing well. We are not on track to reach the education goals," says Seim. 

That is why UNESCO continues to push for education on all fronts. Following the Global Education Meeting in November 2012, where education ministers and partners called for a final “Big Push” to accelerate progress towards the EFA goals by 2015, The Global Consultation in Dakar continues UNESCO's efforts to accelerate this push beyond 2015. It is the culmination of a continuous consultative process in which UNESCO plays a key role.   

Face-to-face and online consultations

Over the past six months, UNESCO and partners have organized four regional consultations in the Arab States, Africa, Asia/Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean. These are important face-to-face meetings with all stakeholder groups, including governments, development partners, civil society and private sector.  

A Global Consultation of Education NGOs was also organized during the Sixth Meeting of UNESCO’s Collective Consultation of NGOs on EFA (CCNGO/EFA) in October 2012.  

Finally, a Global Online Consultation to engage all stakeholders, particularly youth and children, took place from December 2012 to March 2013,covering four themes:

Finally, a Global Online Consultation to engage all stakeholders, particularly youth and children, took place from December 2012 to March 2013,covering four themes:

  • Equitable Access to Education (175 contributions);
  • Quality of Learning (171 contributions);
  • Global Citizenship, Skills and Jobs (135 contributions);
  • Governance and Financing of Education (57 contributions) 

Based on this input, the Global Consultation in Dakar is identifying the remaining challenges for reaching the current education goals and further engage all relevant stakeholders in the shaping of the post-2015 agenda.

“It is important to involve all relevant stakeholders in the process," says Seim. “Strong national ownership in education is vital. We need to better listen to the voice of children and youth. Education is the passport to the future they want."

 




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