Education Goals Should Promote Sustainable Future

Despite great potential, education needs a major rethink if it is to live up to the expectations of the Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 4 envisages inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.SDG 4 envisages inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

The 2016 Global Education Monitoring or GEM Report launched in Tehran last week, is the first in a newly mandated 15-year series, with the theme ‘Education for people and planet: Creating sustainable future for all.’

Formerly known as the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR), the GEM Report has a new mandate to monitor progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning, its 10 detailed targets, as well as other SDG targets with a clear education dimension.

Launched by the UNESCO in cooperation with the UNICEF country office in Iran and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO at the Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, the report draws on a well-tested model and 12 reports produced since 2002.

Policy and decision makers from the Education Ministry and the Literacy Movement Organization, as well as representatives from UN agencies, international organizations, civil society, academia and the private sector attended the launch ceremony, IRNA reported.

Ali Zarafshan, deputy minister for secondary education, formally launched the report and highlighted its key findings relevant to Iran.

Sadollah Nasiri Gheydari, secretary-general of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, stressed the importance of monitoring and evaluation in achieving SDG 4 and its targets, and urged the government to place particular focus on this key aspect of the SDG 4 – Education 2030 agenda.

“The report helps member countries to gauge their performance in meeting their commitments to provide inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all,” said Nasiri.

  Huge Potential

The annual report shows that education has huge potential to achieve progress towards all the global development goals, but needs a major rethink if it is to live up to those expectations,” said Mary Anne Therese Manuson, education consultant of UNESCO Tehran, according to

The world needs an urgent break with past trends to avoid being half a century late in achieving the global education commitments.  Therefore education systems also need a rethink and “must look to do more than just transfer knowledge. They must ensure they give people vital skills and knowledge that can support the transition to greener industries, and find new solutions for environmental problems,” she said.

Deputy representative of UNICEF in Iran, Christine Weigand, highlighted the plight of out-of-school children in the country, who number 3.5 million according to the Majlis Research Center. The UNICEF has made recommendations to promote their inclusion.

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