What is our vision of education?
The world's current global education goals expire in 2015 as both the Dakar Framework for Education For All and the Millennium Development Goals both come to an end. Replacements for both frameworks are under negotiation. World leaders have a chance to take both agendas further and finally ensure everyone has a chance to obtain a quality education.
GCE was established in the run up to agreement of the MDGs and EFA goals and has a long history of campaigning and advocacy to make sure that States deliver the right of everyone to a free, quality public education. We consider it essential to engage with the negotiation around their replacement frameworks since they will lay the foundations of a new global education agenda, and influence the overall discourse on education globally. We believe that both must be grounded in a human rights perspective. What needs to be done has been well established in treaties, conventions, and previous declarations and frameworks; what is missing is a global political commitment to all that is implied by the right to education – that is, a comprehensive commitment to educational access, inclusion, quality and equity and the willingness to create the conditions for success.
In so doing, GCE is driven by our position on education post-2015, Equitable, Inclusive and Free: a collective vision for quality education beyond 2015 and the declaration of the 2014 Global EFA Meeting, the Muscat Agreement, which it sees as the expert position on education in the post-2015 framework.
Equitable, Inclusive and Free: a collective vision for quality education beyond 2015:
If you would like to get more involved with GCE's work on education post-2015, please contact Anjela Taneja, GCE's Head of Policy
The History: the background of EFA and the Millennium Development Goals
In 2000 at the Dakar World Education Forum (Dakar, 2000), 164 governments pledged to achieve EFA and identified six goals to be met by 2015. Governments, development agencies, civil society and the private sector are working together to reach the EFA goals. This formed the global consensus of what the education community wanted achieved on education and formed the basis for the accompanying architecture for tracking progress in education.
At the same time, the United Nations developed a comprehensive agenda for international development. The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) sought to focus international assistance on the most crucial issues facing humanity. All 189 United Nations member states at the time committed to help achieve the following Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Two of the EFA goals- universal primary education and gender parity in education – formed part of the MDGs.
Over the years, the language of these goals drove policy discourse worldwide. However, in 2014, none of the EFA goals appear to have been achieved at the global level. This is partly because of the failure of states to invest adequate resources in implementation of these agendas. We believe that the lessons from the implementation of the past framework should feed back into the development of both the new post-2015 frameworks. The two frameworks must also be in better synergy than has been the case so far.
The post-2015 processes and GCE's participation
The development of the post-2015 framework has been an ongoing, constantly evolving and multi-pronged process. GCE has engaged with both the Sustainable Development Goals (the likely framework for new development goals after 2015) and post-EFA global processes. In so doing, we seek to influence the actual goals, targets and indicators laid down under both frameworks and the discourse around what matters in education in the runup to the development of these frameworks (nationally, regionally and globally) in favour of an education agenda which has the human right to education at its heart.
Some of the processes leading to the post-EFA agenda in which GCE has taken part included:
- Formal consultations as a member of the EFA steering committee of UNESCO
- Global EFA Meeting (GEM) in Oman leading to the formulation of the Muscat Agreement. GCE was part of the drafting group in our capacity as the co-Vice Chair of the EFA steering group. More information on this is available here.
- Collective Consultation of NGOs (CCNGO): discussions in Paris and Santiago which reiterated the need for a holistic Post 2015 framework.
Some of the different processes on the broader post 2015-development agenda where GCE has had a role have included:
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thematic Consultations, which for education are led by UNESCO/UNICEF. The EFA steering committee (of which GCE is a co-vice chair) took the lead with this, culminating in Education in the Post-2015 Agenda: Summary of Outcomes
- A series of national consultations which looked at cross-sectoral issues. Several GCE member coalitions took part in these consultations and sought to highlight the importance of education in the new global agenda.
- The High Level Panel of Eminent Persons in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, convened by the UN Secretary-General, who submitted their report in 2013.
- UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN) reports on SDGs. GCE made submissions in response to both reports, and the final documents from the UN SDSN can be viewed here.
- UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development (OWG), comprised of UN Members mandated by the UN General Assembly, as an outcome of the Rio+ 20 conference. GCE worked jointly with Education International and other civil society organisations in response to the shared OWG drafts, as well as involving regional and national education coalitions.
- World We Want: a global, online consultation asking citizens to rate development issues. GCE and Education International were on the advisory group. GCE co-convened one of the online discussions and contributed to the final report for this theme.
GCE spent 18 months in consultation with its membership to develop the final proposed goal on education for the sustainable development framework. Throughout this process, GCE has produced a variety of papers to record the inputs of members and partners. There was also engagement with other like-minded groups to influence the large community of civil society across the world.
Realising the right to education for all: GCE discussion paper
GCE undertook a formal survey of its members leading to the preparation of a discussion paper which revealed a strong consensus around the need for broad, integrated goals that focus on quality, equity and access, treating them as inextricable. This fed into the 2013 World We Want education consultation in Dakar.
The Human Right to Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Joint Statement
GCE was one of convenors of this joint statement, signed by twenty two international civil society organisations, calling for the human right to education to be recognised and placed at the heart of the post-2015 development framework by member states of the United Nations. Following several rounds of reporting from a variety of the groups informing the development of the post-2015 goals, there is real concern that the human right to education will not form the heart of the development goal on education.
The twenty two organisations involved in this joint call included:Global Campaign for Education (GCE), International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), Education International (EI), Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), Arab Campaign for Education for All (ACEA), Africa Network Campaign for Education for All (ANCEFA), Latin American and Caribbean Council for Popular Education (CEAAL), Women's Popular Education Network in Latin America and the Caribbean (REPEM), Ayuda en Accion, European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), Global March Against Child Labor, ActionAid International, Oxfam International, DVV International, Plan International, Save the Children International, VSO, Results, IBIS, The Right to Education Project and Open Society Foundations. To announce this call, an event was held during UN General Assembly week in New York, NY. The event saw keynote speeches from the Minister for Education of Timor-Leste, His Excellency Bendito dos Santos Freitas and the UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Education, Kishore Singh, alongside representatives of the Government of France, UNESCO, UNICEF, UN Women and GCE, ICAE and Education International.
Download the statement in English
Making Education For All a Reality: Beyond 2015 discussion paper
GCE led on the education paper for Beyond 2015.org. Beyond 2015 is a global civil society campaign, pushing for a strong and legitimate successor framework to the Millennium Development Goals. It brings together more than 1000 Civil Society Organisations from over the world and has participating organisations in 132 countries.
Opportunities for engagement in the post-2015 process
While time is critical, there remain opportunities for education campaigners to engage in and influence the post-2015 process.
- Advocate for a rights-based standalone goal on education in the sustainable development framework and the continuation of the EFA mechanisms after 2015. Initiate dialogue with policy-makers in your country: request meetings with your Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education and Development in discuss their strategies in relation to the post-2015 process. The GCE position document and the UNESCO Oman Declaration would provide good starting points for the discussions. We are asking for a broad approach to education that enables every learner to achieve their full potential and contribute positively to society and not a set of goals, targets and indicators that restricts the process of learning to attaining a limited set of very basic literacy and numeracy outcomes.
- Find out about regional opportunities: a number of regional consultations are underway globally, both for the Sustainable Development Goals and EFA frameworks. Track the latest advocacy spaces on the SDG processes available on the Beyond2015 website. Watch this page for information on upcoming spaces for the post-EFA process.
- Lobby your national representatives to the UN and UNESCO: member states are represented at the UN by their Permanent Missions and UN Ambassadors in New York. For engagement with UNESCO, several countries also have an Permanent Delegations to UNESCO. If you want your country's representatives in either forum to support your agendas in the post-SDG process and post-EFA processes respectively, it would be useful to get in touch with them. This is particularly important since they may not be fully briefed on the specific intricacies of the education discussions.
- Lobby your representative to the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development: the OWG has 30 seats shared among 70 countries. If your country is part of the OWG, please get in touch with your foreign ministry, education ministry and your representative in New York in favour of a strong education goal. Watch this site for latest updates on influencing the post-2015 process.