Teacher union leaders have kick-started the first regional consultation workshop on the Education 2030 Agenda to reflect on ways to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Pacific.
The consultation workshop follows up on the Education 2030 Framework for Action adopted in November 2015 by UN Member States, a framework whose objective is to support all countries to realise their own vision and ambition for education, particularly within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4 and its targets. Together, the Council of Pacific Education and Education International (EI) launched the workshop.
Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all by 2030 in the Pacific’s region
The workshop, held from 6-8 September in Nadi, Fiji Islands, and attended by around 40 education union leaders from the Pacific region, focuses on building the understanding and knowledge of teachers and teacher union leaders on SDG 4 to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. It aims to develop a common understanding on SDGs 4, 5 and 8 and a roadmap and an union action plan to reach quality education and goals set for 2030.
In his opening address, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s Social Policy Advisor Filipe Jitoko reminded the audience of the Pacific Plan Initiative and the Pacific Education Development Framework. He explained to the delegates how SDG 4 is integrated into regional and national education plans, and the collaboration amongst regional and international partners in the Pacific. Jitoko also highlighted that, despite the many challenges in the region, governments are committed to overcome the obstacles and be accountable to SDGs, particularly in providing quality education for all.
Giving the global perspective on Education Agenda 2030, Council of Pacific Education (COPE) Secretary General and EIAP Senior Coordinator Govind Singh underlined the consultative process of developing SDGs based on lessons learnt from the former Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) goals, the journey from Jomtien to Incheon via Dakar, as well as the crucial role of trade unions in making sure that education goals are met by 2030.
Achieving Education 2030 Agenda and SDG, a responsibility of Pacific’s governments
The UNESCO Bangkok representative Malisa Santigul provided a brief overview of SDG 4, and gave global and regional updates, presenting progress made by the Pacific countries. She went on to inform delegates about the challenges faced by the region and stressed how the trade unions can be part of the implementation and monitoring on SDG 4 in the various countries.
Over the course of the workshop, participants will develop national action plans for effective advocacy strategies to influence national governments and ensure the full implementation of the SDGs and their targets.