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Education is the basic building block of every society. It is the single best investment countries can make to build prosperous, healthy and equitable societies. Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to education.” Today however, 57 million children remain out of school. Education is not only a right, but a passport to human development that opens doors and expands opportunities and freedoms. Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensuring Inclusive, Equitable, and Quality Education and the Promotion of Lifelong Learning Opportunities for All, recognizes several impediments for universal education and attempts to address them through targets to increase the number of scholarships to students in developing nations and create educational facilities that are gender sensitive and disability inclusive.
Sustainable and shared economic development increasingly depends on the capacity of governments to implement policies targeted at marginalized groups and remove barriers to ongoing learning and entry into the labor market. Notwithstanding the significant achievements over the past decade, women and girls still have the least access to education and training, and specific policies are urgently needed to address these challenges.
Those who leave school at an early age are vulnerable to unemployment, poverty, early marriage, and pregnancy. Some of the factors that fuel drop-out rates include poverty, gender, disability, family catastrophes, war and conflict, as well as perceived low return on investment for education. Developing alternative learning opportunities that take into account these reasons for high drop-out rates are necessary to provide young people appropriate opportunities to consolidate their basic knowledge and competencies, and equip them with the relevant skills needed to obtain employment, become business owners and entrepreneurs or engage in other productive work.
(information below from 2015)
The Education for All movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults. The movement was launched at the World Conference on Education for All in 1990 by UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank. Participants endorsed an 'expanded vision of learning' and pledged to universalize primary education and massively reduce illiteracy by the end of the decade 2005-2015. Ten years later, with many countries far from having reached this goal, the international community met again in Dakar, Senegal, and affirmed their commitment to achieving Education for All. They identified six key education goals which aim to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015:
Goal 1: Expand early childhood care and education
Goal 2: Provide free and compulsory primary education for all
Goal 3: Promote learning and life skills for young people and adults
Goal 4: Increase adult literacy by 50 per cent
Goal 5: Achieve gender parity by 2005, gender equality by 2015
Goal 6: Improve the quality of education
TVET particularly contributes to EFA goals 3 and 6 as they relate to life skills. As the lead agency, UNESCO has been mandated to coordinate the international efforts to reach Education for All. Governments, development agencies, civil society, non-government organizations and the media are but some of the partners working toward reaching these goals.
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