pg. 32: Education presents another complex challenge of global proportions. . . However, there is a notable lack of high-level political commitment, a comparatively weak and poorly resourced set of international institutions and an insufficient emphasis on practical, results-oriented alliances, including those involving the business community. In response, the [WEF Council] has proposed a multi-stakeholder review of the structure and capacity of the Education for All architecture, and it has issued a call to action to G20 Leaders to champion educational reform and resource mobilization in much the same way they rallied attention – and support – for global health in the past decade. In particular, they have called on these leaders to engage their education, development and finance ministries in this review as well as undertake with other stakeholders a first set of practical, targeted initiatives in the areas of teacher training, North-South university cooperation, lifelong and informal learning, and new approaches to assessment.
Readers' Guide Comment on “the [WEF Council] has . . . issued a call to action to G20 Leaders to champion educational reform and resource mobilization in much the same way they rallied attention – and support – for global health in the past decade”
Putting educational reform at the top of the global agenda is a very interesting proposal. In the field of health care in developing countries, a multi-stakeholder institution, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI Alliance ), did act to transform international priorities and thinking on immunization and vaccination in developing countries. It is now the key health financing and policy body in the area of preventable diseases, eclipsing the WHO. However, GAVI was not built from a multi-stakeholder foundation, and it was not created in response to high-level political calls from the G20 or its predecessor G7/G8. It was the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation that provided the means and the will for GAVI. It was therefore not a high level declaration that turned the direction on preventable diseases, nor was it the actions of private corporations seeking profit; it was the political and financial decisions of the Gates Foundation.
In the field of international education, UNESCO hosts the Education for All initiative (EFA). The EFA and its six 2015 educational targets were created in 2000 in Dakar with the endorsement of 165 governments. According to UNESCO, governments, development agencies, civil society and the private sector are working together to reach the EFA goals. As of 2012, “the prospect of achieving these goals is failing.”
It is not clear how WEF expects a new high-level declaration on education from the G20 to move the world forward toward a new level of pedagogic commitment. As it is citing GAVI as an example, then perhaps it is indirectly seeking another corporate sponsor on par with the Gates Foundation to fund a global educational program.
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