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Education 2030: Governments commit to an educational future that includes OER

This week, the General Conference of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the Education 2030 Framework for Action. This is particularly exciting for the Open Education community, as this framework calls for OER to be part of the agreed-upon action items to ensure equal access to affordable, high-quality education.

The Framework is in support of the Sustainable Development Goal #4, Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.  The Sustainable Development Goals were approved by the UN General Assembly in September this year.

The sections of the Education 2030 Framework that cite OER are:

Target 4.3: By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.

Point 43. A well-established, properly regulated tertiary education system supported by technology, open educational resources and distance education can increase access, equity, quality and relevance, and can narrow the gap between what is taught at tertiary education institutions, including universities, and what economies and societies demand. The provision of tertiary education should be made progressively free, in line with existing international agreements.

From the UN Press Release:
“Today, with the Education 2030 Framework for Action, Governments from across the world have agreed on how to translate a promise on paper to change on the ground,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova at the launch event.

The FFA, the result of an unprecedented consultative process, provides guidance to countries for the implementation of the Education 2030 agenda. It aims to mobilize all stakeholders around the new global education goal and targets, and proposes ways of implementing, coordinating, financing and reviewing the 2030 education agenda—globally, regionally and nationally—to guarantee equal educational opportunity for all.

“Never before has the world consulted in such depth on a new goal in education, bringing all voices to the table. Never before has the world agreed on such a detailed road-map for the implementation of a new goal,” said the Director-General

The Education 2030 Framework for Action can be downloaded here.

Last month, the International Council on Open and Distance Education, UNESCO, the Commonwealth of Learning and the Open Education Consortium partnered to organize a High Level Policy Forum, hosted by UNISA in Pretoria South Africa,. The High Level Policy Forum identified strategic initiatives and actions from different regions around the world to support the SDG #4 on Education and to specify the actions needed to realize the Education 2030 Framework. More information on the High Level Policy Forum can be found in this post.

Congratulations to UNESCO and to all who contributed to this Framework and the advancement of OER as a central element of the future of education globally.