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FOCUS June 2015 Volume 80

Education 2030: A New Vision and Commitment?

Hurights Osaka

On 20 May 2015, one hundred thirty “government ministers, along with high-level government officials, Nobel Prize Laureates, heads of international and non-governmental organizations, academics, representatives of the private sector, researchers and other key stakeholders” *1 gathered in Incheon, Korea to *2
• Take stock of achievements and shortfalls in the implementation of the Dakar Framework for Action and the education-related Millennium Development Goals during the period 2000-2015;
• Agree on a joint position for the education goal and targets in the post-2015 development agenda, which will be adopted by UN [United Nations] Member States at a Summit in September 2015;
• Agree on a comprehensive Framework for Action to guide and support the implementation of the future education agenda.
The conference, known as the World Education Forum 2015 (WEF 2015), resulted in a commitment to achieve a new vision in education, which will “[E]nsure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.” This goal is one of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) *3 being discussed in the United Nations (UN) as part of the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda, or development agenda after the target year (2015) for achieving the MDGs has passed.
The conference document, entitled “Education 2030: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all” (Incheon Declaration), *4 reaffirms “the vision and political will reflected in numerous international and regional human rights treaties that stipulate the right to education and its interrelation with other human rights.” It also reaffirms that
   education is a public good, a fundamental human right and a basis for guaranteeing the realization of other rights. It is essential for peace, tolerance, human fulfilment and sustainable development.
The new vision on education is “inspired by a humanistic vision of education and development based on human rights and dignity; social justice; inclusion; protection; cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity; and shared responsibility and accountability.”
Commitments of States
The Incheon Declaration contains a number of commitments that are meant to be fulfilled by states by 2030. Some of these commitments are the following:
a. “focus our efforts on access, equity and inclusion, quality and learning outcomes, within a lifelong learning approach;” (paragraph 5)
b. “commit 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;” (paragraph 6)
c. “commit to making the necessary changes in education policies and focusing our efforts on the most disadvantaged, especially those with disabilities, to ensure that no one is left behind;” (paragraph 7)
d. “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;” (paragraph 8)
e. “strongly support the implementation of the Global Action Programme on ESD [Education for Sustainable Development] launched at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in Aichi-Nagoya in 2014;” (paragraph 9)
f. “stress the importance of human rights education and training in order to achieve the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.” (paragraph 9)
These commitments have been made in the previous global conferences on education particularly in terms of principles (inclusive education, life-long learning, mainstreaming of gender-sensitive policies and teaching/learning human rights, among others).
It is significant that a statement has been included on human rights education (paragraph 9) in the Incheon Declaration. This statement provides a basis for promoting human rights education in the future global programming on education. On the other hand, the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki Moon) pointed out in the conference the importance of education in realizing human rights. *5 Would the “new vision on education” be realized with the new momentum for human rights education? That remains to be seen.
 For further information, please contact: UNESCO Secretariat, UNESCO Headquarters, 7 Place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP France; e-mail: WEF2015@unesco.org.
Endnotes
[1] Education 2030 Roadmap - 19 May, World Education Forum 2015, http://en.unesco.org/world-education-forum-2015/day-1/education-2030-roadmap-19-may
[2] See “Save the Date! UNESCO leads the way at the 2015 World Education Forum,” UNESCO Office in Ha Noi,
www.unesco.org/new/en/hanoi/about-this-office/single-view/news/save_the_date_world_education _forum_2015/#.VW_9Cc-qqko.
[3] See Report of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals, UNGA A/68/970, 12 August 2014, www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/68/970&Lang=E.
[4] For the full text of the document, see https://en.unesco.org/world-education-forum-2015/incheon-declaration.
[5] Education 2030 Roadmap, op. cit.

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