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Lifelong learning to be a global development goal

Media release.
Published: 02-Dec-2014 03:22 pm
Publisher: Kansanvalistusseura

For the first time in history, lifelong learning is set to be mentioned as a global development goal as the current UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) are reaching their deadline. This according to UN development policy expert Serge Kapto interviewed in adult education web magazine LLinE. 

The MDG’s, agreed on in 2000, are meant to be achieved by 2015. A successor agenda for the future is already in the making. States and stakeholders currently negotiate on new development goals in the so-called post-2015 process. Although we will see final agreement on the new goals in September 2015, a draft agreement, published in July, sheds light on the likely content of the final goals.

Poverty eradication is likely to remain a first priority but lifelong learning gets a separate mention in goal 4:

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Whereas the MDG’s emphasised only the availability of basic education, the new goals will take a more multifaceted approach towards education. Quality is mentioned on the same level as availability and inclusiveness.

-The concept of education will likely be extended “at both ends”, to encompass both early childhood education as well as vocational and higher education, Serge Kapto explains.

Only half a victory

Adult education and development specialist Uwe Gartenschlaeger considers the upgrade of lifelong learning into a global goal a “great success” for the adult education community.

-In comparison, the preceding UN Education for All goals were known by many in the adult education community as “except for adults” –goals, Gartenschlaeger quips.

This is however no time for satisfied complacency, he argues. The draft agreement’s final test will come in the World Education Forum in Korea in May 2015 and in the UN Summit in September where the definitive post-2015 agenda is agreed upon.

Will Europe be serious about post-2015 goals?

In the meantime it is up to the adult education advocates to lobby their national governments to address the typical problems in European adult education: low participation, unequal access and the issue of specific target groups, literacy and basic education.

-My fear is that the future development goals will be less influential in Europe and North America than in the rest of the world. This means advocates have to be active in making these goals count also in EU and national policy, Gartenschlaeger says. 


LLinE Editor-in-chief Markus Palmén: markus.palmen@kvs.fi

Read more

LLinE: Adult education post-2015

"Draft Agreement": Proposal for Sustainable Development Goals

UN Millennium Development Goals

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