Education is fundamental to development and growth. All countries, regardless of their national wealth, stand to gain from more and better education. According to a 2015 OECD report, providing every child with access to education and the skills needed to participate fully in society would boost GDP by an average 28% per year in lower-income countries and 16% per year in high-income countries for the next 80 years.
Non-Aligned Movement recognizes the significance of education in the development framework of the countries of the Global South. The Movement firmly believes that access to education can improve the economic outcomes of citizens and determine the prospects of future generations, especially in developing countries. In this context, NAM attaches great importance to Education 2030 Agenda.
Education 2030 Agenda refers to the global commitment of the Education for All movement to ensure access to basic education for all. It is an essential part of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The roadmap to achieve the Agenda is the Education 2030 Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action, which outlines how countries, working with UNESCO and global partners, can translate commitments into action.
The Education 2030 Agenda is in line with the vision of Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which for ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Under the umbrella of the SDGs, education should expand target areas from focusing on universal primary education to improving post-secondary education and quality education for all levels. Hence, SDG4 represents transformative and universal efforts towards improving the quality of education in the era of lifelong learning and further highlights the role of education in supporting the rest of SDGs, referring to human rights and dignity, social change and sustainable development.
In line with the Education 2030 Agenda, NAM perceives education as a public good, a fundamental human right and a basis for guaranteeing the realization of other rights. It is essential for peace, tolerance, human fulfillment and sustainable development. NAM recognizes education as key to achieving full employment and poverty eradication.
Education 2030 Agenda calls for ensuring the provision of 12 years of free, publicly funded, equitable quality primary and secondary education, of which at least nine years are compulsory, leading to relevant learning outcomes. It also encourages the provision of at least one year of free and compulsory quality pre-primary education and that all children have access to quality early childhood development, care and education. The Agenda also commits to providing meaningful education and training opportunities for the large population of out-of-school children and adolescents, who require immediate, targeted and sustained action ensuring that all children are in school and are learning.
Promoting gender equality is an integral component of Education 2030 Agenda. The Agenda is committed to supporting gender-sensitive policies, planning and learning environments; mainstreaming gender issues in teacher training and curricula; and eliminating gender-based discrimination and violence in schools.
The Agenda calls for a strong global and regional collaboration, cooperation, coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the objectives based on data collection, analysis and reporting at the country level, within the framework of regional entities, mechanisms and strategies.
Under the SDG4-Education 2030 Framework for Action, information and communication technology (ICT) is also highlighted for its cross-cutting role in improving inclusiveness, equity and quality in education. ICT is seen to have the potential to connect those who are marginalized and those in remote areas and conflict zones to education opportunities and increase literacy rates through mobile technology based literacy programmes. NAM Member States have been making concerted efforts towards the implementation of the objectives contained in the Education 2030 Agenda. India. At the 39th General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development in India remarked that “Government of India recognises that achieving the education development goals and targets set in the context of SDG4-Education 2030 agenda requires increased and well-targeted financing and effective and efficient utilisation of allocated funds. Government of India is investing nearly 4.5 % of GDP on education. Efforts are being made to step up the outlay on education by facilitating substantial increase in both public and private sector investment in education. Furthermore, improved coordination, monitoring and evaluation processes have been attempted to ensure that the available funds are used efficiently and effectively, and with measurable education outcomes and impacts for children and youth, especially in terms of attainment of expected learning outcomes”.