12.02.2014 -

UNESCO leads discussion on Education in the Post-2015 development agenda

© Mission of Norway to the EU - UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Mr Qian Tang

On 5 February 2014, the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels and Representation to the EU and the Mission of Norway to the EU organised a high-level discussion on education in the Post-2015 development agenda, bringing together a whole range of stakeholders from the education and development sectors.

With the deadline to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) fast approaching, the goal of universal primary education for all children will almost certainly not be met by 2015. Therefore, this high-level discussion addressed the question: ‘What comes after the MDGs?’, and aimed to further still the international debate on Post-2015 education. Mrs Androulla Vassiliou (European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth), Mr Qian Tang (Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO) and Mr Bjørn Haugstad (State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research) shared their perspectives on education in the post-2015 development agenda.

Some of the key messages were that the Post-2015 framework must take a holistic approach towards education and focus on learning opportunities across the whole life cycle. Thus, the framework should guarantee increased equitable access to quality education for all children, youth and adults with attention to gender equality, while also focusing on teachers and the quality of teaching. In addition, digital education can offer new opportunities to increase access to education in remote areas or among disadvantaged groups. To address these issues, education must be a stand-alone goal in the new framework, while also being integrated into other development goals.

In addition, Ms Margarete Sachs-Israel (Programme Specialist of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report, speaking on behalf of Director Pauline Rose) presented the main messages of the 2013-2014 Education for All Global Monitoring Report and their implications for the post-2015 debate. The data in this report proves that education transforms development. The analysis provides fresh proof that investing in education alleviates extreme poverty through securing benefits for health and productivity, as well as democratic participation and women’s empowerment.

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