Iran Education National Document Highlights SDG 4

All stakeholders – government, civil society, academia, the private sector, local communities – will need to mobilize and engage to incorporate global targets into national development plans
Iran Education National Document Highlights SDG 4Iran Education National Document Highlights SDG 4

On December 11, the Education Ministry, UNESCO’s Tehran Cluster Office, the UNICEF Country Office and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, jointly organized a high-level National Consultation Meeting on Sustainable Development Goal 4 in Tehran.

It brought together representatives from various ministries, government agencies and institutions, UN agencies, civil society organizations, research institutes and academia, as well as the private sector.

It was organized to provide an overview of the SDG 4 – Education 2030 agenda to stakeholders, launch the Draft Education 2030 National Document (2016-2030), and discuss the implementation of SDG 4 (‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’) in Iran.

The draft education document was unveiled on Saturday in the presence of Science Minister Mohammad Farhadi, Education Minister Fakhroddin Ahmadi Danesh-Ashtiani, and Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi. It incorporates targets of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, particularly those pertaining to health, economic growth, sustainable employment, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change.

Improving intersectoral collaboration, developing a joint roadmap for all state bodies, and creating capacity for new policies and defining educational plans are among the expected outcomes of the document, IRNA reported.

In her opening remarks at the meeting, Esther Kuisch Laroche, director and representative of UNESCO, highlighted the importance of localizing the global SDG 4 targets through cooperation and partnerships at all levels.

“As we know, translating the SDG 4 targets into national priorities is an immense undertaking that requires adapting the global targets to national priorities and the local context and incorporating them into national development plans, financing and monitoring processes,” said Laroche, reported.

“All stakeholders – government, civil society, academia, the private sector, local communities – will need to mobilize and engage to contribute to its implementation.”

Christine Weigand, deputy representative of UNICEF, underscored the role of coordination in providing inclusive and equitable quality education for all children.

“These groups of children, who are ‘out of school’, have been left behind in the global progress towards achieving universal education. Yet these are the children who need our support the most. Helping them access and complete their education requires the collaboration of many different actors. The key to success is the joint and coordinated cooperation of all stakeholders, including different government ministries, academia, civil society and the private sector,” she said.

  Gender Equality in Education

Molaverdi underlined the importance of gender equality and equity in education and pointed out that scientific research around the world has shown the transformational impact of girls’ education on issues such as health, literacy and sustainable economic development.

Farhadi, who doubles as the chairman of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, talked about the work that has been undertaken over the past year by several working groups to draft the national education document.

Danesh-Ashtiyani touched on the progress in education made since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the challenges on the road towards the achievement of SDG 4.

Amin Sazgarnejad, deputy minister of labor, cooperatives and social welfare, spoke about youth unemployment and the fact that many young people with higher education qualifications do not have the skills the labor market demands. He stressed the importance of paying more attention to technical and vocational education and training.

  NCDs Linked to Lifestyles

Deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi, said that non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, high blood pressure) are linked to people’s lifestyles and that health education could play an important role in dealing with NCDs which are responsible for more than 75% of deaths worldwide.

The day-long event featured a panel discussion covering topics on national policies, plans and strategies that are relevant to education and SDG 4, education finance, and access to education for marginalized and vulnerable communities.

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