On 4 November 2015 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 (SDG4). This marked the end of a crucial process that included national, regional, and global consultations, leading to the commitment made in May 2015 at the World Education Forum in Incheon to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (Incheon Declaration).
The Framework for Action (FFA) is the roadmap to lead the international community and national governments in their efforts to achieve SDG4 until 2030. 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.
In particular the FFA:
Read a short summary and five key lessons of the FFA
by Aaron Benavot, the Director of the GEM Report.
Building on and continuing the Education for All (EFA) movement, the Education 2030 FFA takes into account the lessons learned since 2000. A key lesson of the past years is that the global education agenda should work within the overall international development framework rather than alongside it, as occurred with the separate EFA goals and education-related MDGs.
According to Jordan Naidoo, Director of Education at UNESCO, and Sylvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics:
"We are in a far better place than we were fifteen years ago when countries adopted the Education for All Goals and Millennium Development Goals and then began the process of defining the monitoring indicators. The new Framework for Action is clearly linked to an existing proposal of indicators. This proposal has been the subject of considerable debate and global consultation among Member States, international organizations, academics and civil society over the past 18 months. While this is work in progress, we already have a solid base of information and a strategy to establish the mechanisms needed for effective monitoring."
The FFA's focus on inclusion and equity – giving everyone an equal opportunity, and leaving no one behind – signals another lesson: the need for increased and special efforts to reach those marginalized by factors such as gender inequality, poverty, conflict and disaster, disability, age and remoteness. The focus on education quality and learning recognizes the danger of concentrating on access to education without paying enough attention to whether students are learning.
The fact that the EFA goals have not been reached carries a further lesson: ‘business as usual’ will not bring education to all. If current rates of progress continue, many of the countries lagging furthest behind will not reach the new targets by 2030. This means that it is of utmost importance to change current practices and mobilize efforts and resources at an unprecedented pace.
"Overall, the 43 indicators serve as a roadmap to monitor progress at global and national levels. Using these, the international education community has a solid base of information to select a number of Global Reporting Indicators that will be used to monitor global progress towards SDG4, examined in the GEM Report 2016. At the same time, countries can set and monitor their own targets, by reviewing the complete list of thematic indicators and choosing those that reflect their specific national priorities." (Read the full blog post by Naidoo and Montoya on the INEE website.)
Albeit very concisely, the FFA makes explicit reference to the need for countries to institute measures to develop inclusive, responsive and resilient education systems to meet the needs of children, youth and adults in crisis contexts, including internally displaced persons and refugees (Articles 25-26).
"Education in emergency contexts is immediately protective, providing lifesaving knowledge and skills and psychosocial support to those affected by crisis. Education also equips children, youth and adults for a sustainable future, with the skills to prevent disaster, conflict and disease. ...
The principles of prevention, preparedness and response, and established international guidelines such as the INEE Minimum Standards, should guide planning and response.
Education sector plans and policies should anticipate risks and include measures to respond to the educational needs of children and adults in crisis situations; they should also promote safety, resilience and social cohesion, with the aim of reducing the risks of conflict and natural disaster."