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Real Change from the Education 2030 Framework for Action

The Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA) was adopted and launched at a meeting held alongside the 38th UNESCO General Conference at the organization’s headquarters on Nov. 4.

Governments and private sector investors from around the world agreed to support the FFA, committing to make the Education 2030 agenda a success by 2030.

The FFA is designed as a consultation program, working alongside government education organizations. The program intends to keep educational stakeholding on track toward achieving the 2030 Education agenda.

UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova said that she is hopeful that the FFA will help to encourage and enforce the four principles of the Agenda: the universal right to quality free and compulsory education; the acknowledgement that education is a public responsibility; the importance of providing adults with lifelong learning opportunities; and that gender equality is paramount.

“The conviction guiding our policy is that inequality is not a matter of fate,” said Director-General Bokova. “We have the responsibility to act to ensure that students’ background does not determine their educational prospects and future opportunities.”

But the FFA is concerned with more than students’ test scores and attendance. The program is intended to create a foundation for global citizenship, peace promotion, human dignity and tolerance.

Through using education as a holistic and inspirational medicine, UNESCO is hoping that Education 2030 will improve global educational prospects.

UNESCO was not alone in the unveiling of the FFA, partnering with the powerful co-convenors of Education 2030, including the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Populations Fund, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and the World Bank.

But the Director-General Bokova acknowledged that it’s going to take more than a list of big-name supporters to make the FFA a success. It’s going to take a serious financial commitment from individual governments.

“This calls for new funding, to bridge the annual U.S. $40 billion funding gap, to invest where needs are most acute. We need every country to meet the target of allotting six percent of Gross Domestic Product to education,” said Director-General Bokova. “We need to reach the overall goal of directing 0.7 percent of all Official Development Assistance to education. To leave no one behind, we need more investment and smarter investment, backed by stronger policies.”

President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim added to Director-General Bokova’s point, saying, “To end poverty, boost shared prosperity, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we must use development financing and technical expertise to effect radical change. We must work together to ensure that all children have access to quality education and learning opportunities throughout their lives, regardless of where they are born, their gender, or their family’s income.”

Claire Colby

Sources: UNESCO, Women of China
Photo: Flickr