“Education is a fundamental right and the basis for progress in every country. Parents need information about health and nutrition if they are to give their children the start in life they deserve. Prosperous countries depend on skilled and educated workers. The challenges of conquering poverty, combatting climate change and achieving truly sustainable development in the coming decades compel us to work together. With partnership, leadership and wise investments in education, we can transform individual lives, national economies and our world”.
— BAN KI-MOON, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL
In September 2015 the UN Country Team will jointly carried out the Joint Advocacy Month to promote the UN Secretary-General’s Global “Education First” Initiative (GEFI) in India, led by UNESCO and UNICEF. The Joint Advocacy Month activities will be run under the slogan “Sustainable Development Begins with Education”.
The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education Act (RTE) had been enacted on 4 August 2009 by the Parliament of India. It describes the modalities of the importance of free and compulsory education for children between 6 and 14 in India under Article 21A of the Indian Constitution. India became one of 135 countries to make education a fundamental right of every child when the act came into force on 1 April 2010.
In September 2000, India was also among 189 member states of the United Nations came together at the Millennium Summit and adopted the Millennium Development Goals, which acknowledged education as an indispensable means for people to realize their capabilities, and prioritized the completion of a primary school cycle.
The United Nations Secretary-General launched the five-year Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) in September 2012 to accelerate progress towards the Education for All goals and the education-related Millennium Development Goals. The three main priorities of the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) are to expand access to education, improve the quality of learning, and foster global citizenship. The Initiative aims to:
Rally together a broad spectrum of actors for the final push to 2015;
Put quality, relevant and transformative education at the heart of the social, political and development agendas;
Generate additional and sufficient funding for education through sustained global advocacy efforts;
Throughout the month of September, advocacy activities will be undertaken by the Government of India, UN agencies, civil society partners and other stakeholders starting from the National Teachers Day on September 5th, through the International Literacy day on September 8th, and final culmination when all the Member States of the United Nations will adopt the 17 Sustainable Development Goals at the Summit to be in New York from 25 -27 of September 2015. Please to visit the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) website for information on the influence of education on 17 SDGs.
Mr. Oscar Fernandes, Member of Parliament and President of the Forum of Parliamentarians on HIV/AIDS talks about how education empowers people and provides them knowledge and skills to better their lives and plays a role in building equitable societies.
Effective Implementation of RTE
Ms Panudda Boonpala, Director, International Labour Organization talks how effective implementation of RTE will go a long way in ensuring that children complete basic education before entering the labour market.
Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, human rights activist and winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, tells UNESCO MGIEP about his fight to end child labour.
Education for the 21st century
With the official launch of the UN’s new development agenda, 2015 is a watershed moment. And while education features prominently as a means to achieving this new agenda, we must also focus on what education should represent in the 21st century. Dr. Anantha Duraiappah, Director of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), discusses what values and skills are needed to face the challenges of an increasingly interdependent and interconnected world.
The World Education Forum adopted on 21 May 2015 the Declaration on the Future of Education. The Incheon Declaration was welcomed by the global education community, including government ministers from more than 130 countries, non-governmental organizations and youth groups. This video features Ms Irina Bokova Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Kailash Satyarthi Laureate of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, HE Park Geun-Hye President of the Republic of Korea, HH Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser of Qatar UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, Mr Ban Ki-moon United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Jim Yong Kim President of the World Bank Group, Mr Anthony Lake Executive Director of UNICEF and Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Executive Director of UN Women.
UNESCO MGIEP’s The Blue Dot magazine
Our flagship, magazine-style publication called The Blue Dot was inspired by Carl Sagan’s view of our fragile planet and his call for people to set aside their differences and to work towards the betterment of humanity. The magazine is designed to address audiences across generations and walks of life, thereby taking the discourse on education and global citizenship beyond academia, civil society organizations and governments, to the actual stakeholders.
India has made substantial progress towards achieving EFA goals during the last two decades. Adoption of Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009 has given further impetus to the national efforts for ensuring quality education for all in a time- bound manner. The present document presents a comprehensive review of the progress made in this regard with respect to each of the EFA goals and the challenges that remain to be addressed.
In the run-up to 2015, the EFA Global Monitoring reports have played a leading role in supporting countries, providing solid assessment and analysis to facilitate policy-making, along with a powerful advocacy tool for governments and civil society. This report draws on the outcomes of various foras and makes recommendations for the place of education in the future global sustainable development agenda.
In reviewing progress since 2000, this regional overview summarizes findings in response to key questions addressed by the 2015 EFA Global Monitoring Report: What are the main EFA achievements and what challenges remain as the world is defining a new education agenda after 2015? Which countries have advanced fastest? Which faced difficulties?
The Second UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) was organized in Paris from 28 to 30 January 2015 under the overall theme ‘Building peaceful and sustainable societies: preparing for post-2015’. The Forum was organized in support of the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) and on the occasion of UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary.
There is no more powerful transformative force than education – to promote human rights and dignity, to eradicate poverty and deepen sustainability, to build a better future for all, founded on equal rights and social justice, respect for cultural diversity, and international solidarity and shared responsibility, all of which are fundamental aspects of our common humanity
The major challenge of seeking cohesion between the ideas of peace and sustainability and the role of education in supporting and promoting it still remains somewhat elusive. The papers do not provide all the answers. However, it is hoped that they will form the basis for a robust and fruitful debate on clarity, cohesion, and interdependence of peace, sustainable development, and education – all very complex constructs.
The publication highlights five landmark and diverse ESD Initiatives from India, set in five different locations across the country, and culled from five different organisations – Centre for Environment Education (CEE), The Energy Research Institute (TERI), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dusty Foot Productions, and WWF.
This policy paper provides a succinct, evidence-based overview of the numerous ways in which education can advance the proposed post-2015 sustainable development goals. It underscores the notation that sustainable development for all countries is only truly possible through comprehensive cross-sector efforts that begin with education.