Post-2015 Programme of Work
Connecting post-2015 futures of education and training with a glance at the past
The aim of the programme will be to comment critically on the post-2015 debates on global/sustainable development issues as well as on the place and role of education and training in any international agenda. It will refer to the different perspectives that have been used since the early 90s to define and implement socio-economic as well as education development models. If there is to be an in-depth contextualisation of today and tomorrow's post-2015 debates, a pre-condition must be to capture the conceptual and experiential knowledge accumulated since the Jomtien Conference on Education for All in March 1990. It will also important to review the evolution, over the last three decades, of the employment, economic and social development frameworks in which international education and training policies have developed, and tease out their implications for post-2015 futures. Finally, a reflexion on some alternative visions of the tensions between some different ways to look at education - a right, a global public good, a vector and no longer a sector for socio-economic development, a component of social protection with health and food, a one support for learning amongst others – will be proposed.
Maintaining the connection between education and skills development
It is essential to keep strong and explicit the vital importance of the mutual dependency of good quality basic education and skills development. One tendency in the post-2015 international discussions as well as in many countries, might lead to a re-balancing in favour of skills development from the importance currently being given to basic education. The new emphasis, in the discourse at least, being granted to skills development by governments as well as many multi- and bilateral development agencies seems to be difficult to contest in front of the urgency of dealing with youth unemployment, low productivity and weak growth. But we are aware of the limitations of the emphasis on skills development in contexts marked by weak economic development. That is why a new balance has to be found between targeting the economic and employment related dimensions of skills development, on the one hand, and the social and inclusive objectives of education, on the other, since formal and non-formal basic education is a key instrument of social and individual development in a human rights perspective as well as a crucial factor for training efficiency. A question raised in the last World Development Report entitled « Jobs » : « Skills or Jobs-which comes first ?» is a reflect of the on-going debate about the ideal balance to be found in terms of public policies between education, training, employment and job creation.
Critically assessing the tensions between Southern perspectives and post-2015 debates
A critical analysis of the three element of the post-2015 debates – stakeholders, inputs and processes - is necessary to assess the sustainability potential of the decisions to be made before 2015. As far as processes and inputs are concerned, some particular attention should be paid to the difference – if any - between today's Southern stakeholders participation in the debates, and the top-down approach that has been often criticised in the previous MDG decision-making process. At the same time, there appears to be a limited interest in post-2015 by many LIC and MIC in the South as opposed to the emphasis they seem to give to their own national mid-term objectives and perspectives, largely independently of the new global development and education targets under construction. This apparent difference will be carefully addressed in the case studies in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, illustrating the nature, relevance and coherence of the consultation processes and proposals concerning the post-2015 as well as national targets for education and skills development. The relations between China and some African countries concerning educational and economic development will illustrate the rapid changes at work in the field of international cooperation.
Activities, documents and publications :
- NORRAG NEWSBite Blog, which contains post-2015 as an ongoing theme
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- 1st June 2012 Workshop (Geneva) on ‘Post-2015 Politics and Foresight: What Room for Education?’ >> Read more
- 12th September 2012 Workshop (Geneva) on ‘Education and Skills in Post‐2015 MDGS and EFA’. This is a follow-up meeting from an earlier meeting (1st June 2012) meeting in Geneva. This second meeting will discuss NORRAG’s own contribution to the post-2015 discussions as well as the relationships and synergies towards post-2015 amongst the main Geneva-based actors. >> Read more
- October 2012: submission to the UK International Development Committee Enquiry of Post-2015. >> Read more
- January 2013: release of "Education in Conflict Emergencies in Light of the post-2015 MDGs and EFA Agendas" by Christopher Talbot (Consultant, Education in Emergencies)
- April 2013: Special issue of NORRAG News (NN48) on ‘Skills Development in GMR 2012 and the World TVET Report: Implications for Post-2015’. This will follow the launch of the EFA GMR on Skills Development (16th October 2012) and the World TVET Report (January 2013).
- April 2013: release of "Post-2015 Agendas: Northern Tsunami, Southern Ripple? the Case of Education and Skills", by Kenneth King and Robert Palmer (NORRAG)
- September 2013: Special issue of NORRAG News (NN49) will likely focus on ‘Education, Skills Development, Learning & HRD in the Post-2015 Development Landscape’.
- NORRAG at the 12th UKFIET International Conference on Education and Development (Oxford, 10-12th September 2013). The “Oxford Conference” 2013 will focus on ‘Education and Development Post 2015’. NORRAG is planning to organize a sub-theme on the ‘Futures of development assistance to education and skills’. >> Read more
- September 2013: NORRAG meeting on ‘Southern Perspectives on Beyond 2015’. This meeting will draw on a series of articles prepared for the forthcoming issue of International Development Policy (PolDev) in order to tease out how the so-called international agenda interacts with the national planning processes.