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U.N. Report Finds New Approaches Needed to Meet Universal Education Goals

U.N. Report Finds New Approaches Needed to Meet Universal Education Goals

Commissioned by UNESCO, the 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report has found that it won’t be until 2084 before the world's children universally have access to K-12 education, an achievement the U.N. had hoped to accomplish in 2030. The report indicates the need for a change in policies and tactics to make the goal achievable still.

"On current trends only 70% of children in low income countries will complete primary school in 2030, a goal that should have been achieved in 2015. We need the political will, the policies, the innovation and the resources to buck this trend,” the report says.

Further, the report urges individuals to adopt a different perspective when it comes to education and its importance. Specifically, the U.N. defines what inclusive and equitable quality education means. In order for universal education to be a reality, the report says that all girls and boys should have access to quality primary and secondary education, early childhood development and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education.

The report outlines how improved education can benefit a country’s other developmental goals, as well.

For instance, “[p]rogress in health, nutrition and gender equality,” the report says, "is inextricably linked with progress in education.”

”The challenges facing people and planet are enormous and urgent. The broad role that education and lifelong learning can and must play is not always fully appreciated. The report draws attention to the interconnectedness of natural and social systems and interlinkage between sectors, with education as a powerful catalyst,” the report concludes.

When it comes to teachers, the report urges world leaders to make a commitment to increasing the supply of qualified teachers, especially in least developed countries.

In order to do this, the report recommends that world leaders come to a consensus on what teacher quality actually is.

”[T]he definition of ‘qualified’ is ambiguous,” the report says.

"It is understood in terms of both academic qualifications (the level of education a teacher has completed, regardless of domain of study) and training qualifications (successful completion of a training course that represents the minimum condition to enter teaching). A teacher may possess one but not the other. The proposed global indicator focuses on training rather than academic qualifications.”

Moving forward, the report says it is "necessary to monitor whether teachers are motivated and supported. This includes monitoring induction and mentoring [programs], on-the-job training, working conditions and contracts, pay and teacher attrition."

Read the full report.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

9/7/2016

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