A new framework on transforming educational opportunities in Commonwealth countries, the Commonwealth Education Policy, will be unveiled at the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Nadi, Fiji on February 19-23, 2018
A new framework on transforming educational opportunities in Commonwealth countries, the Commonwealth Education Policy, will be unveiled at the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Nadi, Fiji on February 19-23, 2018.
The resource is designed to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more easily attainable through providing safe learning environments, boosting school enrollments, improving adult literacy rates, and addressing gender disparity in education.
Governments will receive help in identifying deficiencies in their education systems and producing effective strategies to achieve the SDGs.
The initiative will be part of a number of complementary resources proposed to Ministers at the conference, with other proposals directed towards needs assessment and leadership, guides on data collection, the scholarly underachievement of boys, and the impact of domestic violence on education.
Under the theme `Sustainability and Resilience: Can Education Deliver?’, Ministers will agree a declaration covering a range of issues, including minimum financing for education, which will be presented to heads of government at the Commonwealth Summit in April 2018.
Ministers will also receive the Curriculum Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals, a guide on developing curricula using new learning and delivery approaches, and an online toolkit designed to boost technical and vocational education and training programmes.
According to the UN, 121 million children aged 6-15 do not attend school and, globally, 103 million young people lack basic literacy skills.
Furthermore, in the Commonwealth, only one third of children living in developing countries have access to early education, an estimated 17 million children remain out of primary school, and over 400 million adults are illiterate.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has said it will increase collaborative work with organisations such as the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and other regional, national and international partners to provide improved, coordinated learning services.
COL has already achieved success in improving girls’ education, with 34,929 women and girls trained in various skills for livelihoods and assistance given to 6,673 girls in Bangladesh, India, Mozambique, Pakistan and Tanzania to find new income sources.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “The stark reality facing many of our Commonwealth member countries is that they are having to find funds to maintain and improve education services on shoestring budgets and sometimes after having their entire economy wiped out by a natural disaster.
“Our aim is to assist Education Ministries to deploy their resources and configure their systems for optimum performance.
“This new Commonwealth framework offers specific guidance on policies to upgrade four key aspects of education: governance, knowledge, capacity and advocacy.
“It will drill down into areas such as finance, planning, regulation, research and development, innovation, community engagement and professional development.”
Commenting on the education conference, Head of Social Policy at the Secretariat Layne Robinson said: “It will give ministers, senior officials, students, teachers, higher education leaders and civil society the opportunity to have a frank conversation about the shared and specific challenges facing education such as financing and climate change, and agree on a plan to tackle them together.”
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