What is our vision of education?
Around the turn of the millennium, two processes established a set of (more or less) ambitious goals for education globally. Building on the earlier Jomtien World Declaration on Education, the Dakar Framework for Education For All
set out six goals, agreed by hundreds of governments and civil society organisations, representing a consensus on what it would mean to secure education for all by 2015, and the Millennium Development Goals
included two of these – universal primary education and gender parity in education – as part of its global framework for development.
In the run-up to 2015, we have two urgent priorities.
First, we must build and maintain pressure to achieve existing goals – a target that is close or achieved for some goals in some countries, and woefully off-track for others.
And, crucially, we must plan and campaign to ensure that any future global frameworks and goals, whether for education or more broadly, emphasise and advance the universal right to education.
If you would like to get more involved with GCE's work on education post-2015, please contact
Official post-2015 planning processes
The United Nations is coordinating various official mechanisms for planning on a successor to the MDG framework after 2015:
- a Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Post-2015 Planning, Amina Mohammed, a former Nigerian government official and a founder of Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All, GCE's member coalition in Nigeria
- a High Level Panel of Eminent Persons to advise the UN Secretary General, co-chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and UK Prime Minister David Cameron
- a UN System Task Team made up of specialists from UN agencies
- consultations, supported by UNDP, in 50 countries and on nine themes, including education
- the launch of a UN website in August 2012.
Two good sources of information on the broader post-MDG processes for civil society are Beyond 2015
and the Post-2015 blog
of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
You can download the outcome paper for the 2012 CCNGO Meeting here
You can download the outcome paper for the 2012 Global EFA Meeting here
Education activists joining the conversation
GCE is has consulted with its membership in order to develop a strong statement of what we believe should come next in terms of international frameworks and agreements on education.
Members' views were sought on what aspects of education are most in need of attention, what actions do governments most need to take, and what civil society wants to hold national governments to account for, both nationally and internationally.
Based on the great response we received, GCE has produced a discussion paper that aims to synthesise and summarise reflections on previous frameworks, and priorities for post-2015. This revealed a strong consensus around the need for broad, integrated goals that focus on quality, equity and access, treating them as inextricable. This is also a natural result of rooting goals in the right to education, another concern for GCE members.
You can download the GCE Discussion Paper on Education Post-2015 here:
Download in English
Download in French
Download in Spanish
Download in Arabic
Download in Portuguese
This feedback from GCE was fed into discussions at the recent high level meeting in Dakar, March 2013.
The interim findings of the GCE consultation are now available and can be downloaded in English here.
Highlights from the GCE consultation interim findings include:
- Financing for education and transparent and participatory decision-making should be major priorities for government attention, action and accountability, and civil society monitoring. Governments must put in place structures and funding to reach education goals, and ensure that civil society is able to inform and monitor progress.
- Equity is crucial and needs greater emphasis; we should retain a focus on access, and strengthen this through an explicit link to equity and marginalization – taking into account who is missing out on education, not just how many. More broadly, there should be equity targets across education goals and attention on inclusive education.
- Quality, learning and teachers: the education MDGs are seen to have narrowed the EFA agenda, and taken quality out of the struggle for universal access: quality should be central, and closely linked to access. Indicators of quality and learning could include well-qualified teachers, relevant and inclusive curricula, a broader understanding of the nature of education, and indicators of learning.
- Teachers are neglected despite their huge importance to quality education. There should be a greater focus on trained and qualified teachers, and the pupil-to-trained teacher ratio, whether as an indicator of quality or a separate goal.
- Free and public education: governments must retain responsibility for education; expansion of private education adds to inequity; and governments must meet commitments on abolishing fees.
- A rights basis should underlie all discussions of education and future frameworks. These are rights in, to and through education, which are indivisible and without hierarchy.
- Approaches to future goals: there is support for the overall EFA framework, and calls to deepen it through more and better indicators (eg on equity in access, on quality) and perhaps additional goals (eg on teachers).
- Most responses so far in relation to any future MDG-type goal call for a much broader agenda to be included, beyond UPE.
Download the GCE Members post-2015 survey
The global thematic discussion was hosted by www.worldwewant2015.org
; it is was run in four parts and closed at the end of February 2013:
|E-Discussion 2 - Quality of learning
|| 5-19 January 2013
|E-Discussion 3 - Global citizenship, skills and jobs
||23 January – 6 February 2013
|E-Discussion 4 - Governance and Financing for Education
||10 – 24 February 2013
Information on the outcomes of the UN global post-2015 consultations is available at the World We Want
platform. This official consultation on education was coordinated by UNESCO and UNICEF, and GCE and Education International are on the advisory group. GCE co-convened E-Discussion 3 and contibuted to the final report for this theme.
The deadline for the expected output – a global synthesis report – is June 2013, but early findings (summarised in a snap shot report) were presented at the High Level Panel meeting in Bali in March 2013.
Consultations have been taking place with academia, media, private sector, employers and trade unions, civil society and decision makers, since May 2012. Themes of global meetings include:
- Inequalities (across all dimensions, including gender)
- Health (including issues covered by MDGs 4, 5, 6, plus non communicable diseases)
- Education (primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational)
- Growth and employment (including investment in productive capacities, decent employment, and social protection)
- Environmental sustainability (including access to energy, biodiversity, climate change)
- Food security and nutrition
- Governance (at all levels)
- Conflict and fragility (including post-conflict countries, and those prone to natural disasters)Population dynamics (including ageing, international and internal migration, and urbanisation)