DOHA: More than 130 education ministers and over 1,500 participants have adopted the Incheon Declaration — Education 2030: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all — that will mobilise countries and partners to implement the new sustainable development goal (SDG) on education.
The declaration was signed in culmination of World Education Forum last week, also attended by an Education Above All (EAA) delegation, including Chairperson H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
The Qatari delegation was headed by Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr H E Mohammed Abdul Wahed Ali Al Hammadi. Marcio Barbosa, CEO, EAA, represented the delegation in the ‘Declaration’ session.
Dr Hamda Al Sulaiti, Qatar’s representative at the plenary session that adopted the declaration, said, “Qatar fully supports the declaration and we are pleased to see the points raised by Sheikha Moza included in the final text.” The declaration is a historic commitment to transform lives through a new vision for education, with bold and innovative actions to coordinate, finance and monitor the education agenda for the next 15 years.
With it, member states have committed to prioritise access to quality basic education for 121 million children and adolescents at the primary and lower secondary level who remain out of school.
The commitment is a significant step towards completing the unfinished goal of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2 to achieve universal primary education. The declaration underpins education targets in SDGs to be ratified at a special United Nations summit in September. Of particular importance is the recognition of the need to build on lessons learned by MDGs and the commitment to provide meaningful education opportunities for the large population of out-of-school children who require immediate, targeted and sustained action to ensure that all children are in school and learning.
At the opening session of the multilateral international forum, Sheikha Moza appealed to participants to embrace the new agenda with pragmatism and realism and focus on the 58 million children of primary school age around the world that are out of school.
During a panel discussion entitled ‘Providing meaningful learning opportunities for out of school children’, Mary Joy Pigozzi, Director, Educate A Child, a programme of EAA, said, “We are at an important juncture. Education ministries and education systems are adopting proven innovations developed by other partners. This is an extraordinary opportunity to improve the quality of education while ensuring access to this better education for the most marginalised.” The Peninsula