Transforming Education Summit 2022
Futures of Education
A NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT
Table of contents
Briefing Note 1. Inclusive, equitable, safe, and healthy schools 4
Improve the quality, safety, and inclusion of school learning environments 5
Strengthen school infrastructures, organization, administration, and supports 5
Enrich learning environments beyond formal schooling and throughout life 6
Briefing Note 2. Learning and skills for life, work and sustainable development 7
Ensure learning and skills support school-to-work transitions 8
Reorient education to build environmentally sustainable futures 8
Expand the right to education throughout life 9
Briefing Note 3. Teachers, teaching and the teaching profession 10
Increase the attractiveness of the teaching profession 11
Improve professional induction, development, and ongoing support 11
Engage teachers in improving pedagogy, research, and policy for the futures of education 12
Briefing Note 4. Digital Learning and transformation 13
Ensure that digital technology in education empowers and connects people 14
Center the most marginalized 14
Require technology to serve educational purposes 14
Briefing Note 5. Financing of education 16
Generate and prioritize shared goals 17
Build capacity and broker knowledge 17
Futures of Education Briefing Notes
These notes are based on ideas, principles and proposals contained in the report of the International Commission on the Futures of Education, Reimagining Our Futures Together: A new social contract for education.
They cover the following topics in line with the five thematic action tracks of the UN Transforming Education Summit process:
1. Inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools
2. Learning and skills for life, work and sustainable development
3. Teachers, teaching and the teaching profession
4. Digital learning and transformation
5. Financing of education
Briefing Note 1.
Inclusive, equitable, safe, and healthy schools
Schools are essential educational settings. They represent societies’ commitment to education as a public human activity, and are vital to inclusion, equity, and individual and collective well-being. Schools must be improved and strengthened to better promote more just, equitable and sustainable futures as a public endeavour. Beyond formal schooling, societies should expand enriching learning environments that support education throughout every stage of life in diverse cultural and social spaces.
Schools represent unique times and spaces for formal education. Over the past century, schools came to be organized in remarkably similar ways worldwide, organized according to a model that had considerable architectural, organizational, and procedural similarities, including classrooms, lesson plans, timetables, age groupings, examinations, etc. The increasing availability of schools worldwide over the past several decades have enabled millions more children, adolescents, and youth to attain their rights to education. The school closures during the pandemic resulted not only in learning disruptions for many students, they also showed the key role that schools play in supporting heath, nutrition, wellbeing – of individuals, families, and communities. Schools are among the few institutions explicitly intended to protect and provide opportunities for the most vulnerable.
At the same time, schools too often reproduce inequality. About half of the world’s students finish their secondary studies without reaching even minimum levels of proficiency in basic competencies. Where academic learning occurs, relevance and applicability beyond the classroom can be limited. Concerns for safety, mental and physical health, adequate housing, and nutrition can also present obstacles for learning. Gender discrimination can impact participation in school, especially in times of crisis when school attendance is deemed unsafe, or when greater de- mands are placed on girls’ domestic work and caregiving at home. Learning environments beyond school are also increasingly needed at all stages of life – both prior to primary-school age, and well into adulthood to respond to a changing world.
Prolonged effects of school disruptions: The effects of school closures and lack of in-person education will continue to have lifelong impacts on the social, intellectual, and mental well-being of millions of young people, especially on those already vulnerable and marginalized. Protection from gender-based violence, child marriage, child labor, as well as prevention of early pregnancy and school dropouts will remain urgent.
Changing curricular and pedagogical needs: Challenges to the uni-directional instruction methods found in many schools will continue to lead to more participatory, relevant, and responsive curriculum and pedagogy, along with increasing demand to see a range of ways of knowing flourish in schools.
Growing demand for technological competencies: Schools will increasingly be expected to enable engagement with the worldwide knowledge commons, to build digital competencies in students, and to cultivate digital citizens in effective, relevant, and age-appropriate ways. Schools will also need to mitigate negative impacts of digital oversaturation, addiction, privacy issues, and online risk.
Expanding demand for education throughout life: Human lifespans are increasing, jobs and employment are changing, and adults face responsibilities for the world in which they are building for the future, making the need for education throughout life increasingly important.
Rising temperatures, ecological degradation, and infrastructural strain: Most of the world’s schools do not have appropriate materials, architecture, and technologies to address extreme heat, poor ventilation, and degraded air quality, which are projected to increase in coming years – all of which are proven to adversely impact learning and cognition.
Improve the quality, safety, and inclusion of school learning environments
• Prioritize safe and inclusive learning environments: Schools must ensure safe spaces free from violence, discrimination, and bullying, that welcome learners in their difference and diversity.
• Embrace collaborative and diverse learning environments: Foster school cultures that draw on collaborative learning strategies to leverage students’ and teachers’ differences into opportunities to enrich shared learning.
• Revise expectations of classroom learning: Recognize the flawed expectations that children and youth should sit passively through the day, absorbing large amounts of information, and reimagine school architecture, furniture design, and materials to support active learning.
• Reform lessons and timetables: Ensure that school calendars and timetables do not preclude rich collaborative learning experiences, such as group problem-based and project-based learning, inquiry- based and action-research, community-engaged pedagogies and service learning.
• Allow organizational flexibility across the school community: Afford teachers the flexibility to develop, experiment with, and adapt groupings of students – at times smaller or larger, by age or mixed, beyond conventional classroom arrangements.
• Ensure that assessment is purposeful and supports learning: Teachers, schools, and education systems should use assessment to better support learning. They should not use results to withhold resources, punish students, or to create categories of ‘winners’ and ‘losers.’
Strengthen school infrastructures, organization, administration, and supports
• Develop collaborative capacities among teachers, administrators, and staff: Foster autonomy, and mutual assistance through collegial practices including coaching, mentoring, individual and group study, action research, and collaborations with other schools and universities.
• Design sustainable schools: Support school designs to become exemplars of sustainability, carbon neutrality, and accessibility, drawing on local and indigenous design principles that are responsive to environmental conditions and climate change.
• Build technological capacity: Create school capacity for digital and technological inclusion to enhance student creativity, communication, and competencies appropriately and with care, ensuring they do not exacerbate existing systems of exclusion.
• Strengthen capacity for school governance and public financing: At local, national, regional and global levels, governments and public institutions should commit to dialogue and action around supporting safe and inclusive schools and learning environments.
• Avoid reliance on punitive rankings: Leaders should avoid undue reliance on high-stakes examinations, lacking contextual awareness, to guide policy and curricular decisions.
• Build partnerships with higher education: Facilitate partnerships between school systems and universities to contribute to reimagining, strengthening, and innovating in education.
• Prepare schools for future disruptions: Leaders should learn from past disruptions and pay attention to projected changes and demographic shifts to reinforce public education systems, avoid overcrowding and shortages, and ensure responsiveness and resilience to future change.
Enrich learning environments beyond formal schooling and throughout life
• Expand learning with a living planet: Widen inclusion of where learning happens beyond human-centered spaces and institutions to also include parks, city streets, rural paths, gardens, wilderness, farmlands, forests, deserts, lakes, wetlands, oceans and parts of the biosphere.
• Enable cultural and community learning spaces: Support opportunities for intergenerational education and cultural understanding by connecting with elders, community leaders, and knowledge keepers, going beyond the school building to access local knowledge.
• Bridge divides between theory and practice: Enable school-wide opportunities to apply learning; for example, drawing on technical and vocational education and training through reimagined forms of apprenticeships, meaningful courses, cooperatives, and effective training.
• Promote transformative adult education: Policies and programs need to focus on the whole of life, including but beyond labour market purposes, to address the changing educational needs of adults and the elderly.
• Expand environments for early childhood education: Adopt society-wide systems of open and flexible models of early childhood education in different educational strategies, prioritizing family and community relationships, and cognitive, emotional, sensorial development.
• Uphold rights of indigenous self-determination: Support the UNDRIP declaration that, in addition to accessing education ensured by the state, indigenous peoples have the ‘right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.’
• Ensure the rights to education of displaced and stateless: Ensure educational inclusion of refugees and displaced communities, recognizing their likelihood to become more common.
Briefing Note 2. Learning and skills for life, work and sustainable development
Education should empower learners with knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to be resilient, adaptable and prepared for uncertain futures, while contributing to human and planetary well-being and sustainable development. Meaningful, foundational learning should include literacy, numeracy, scientific capacities, the humanities, and the arts, are indispensable for lifelong learning. Moreover, curricula must emphasize ecological, intercultural and interdisciplinary learning, so that all learners from early childhood through adulthood not only acquire relevant knowledge, but also are empowered to take action and contribute to global peace, sustainable development and societal transformation.
Some 773 million youth and adults still lack basic literacy skills, two-thirds of whom are women; One in four youth in lower income countries is still non-literate today. Even in middle income and upper income countries, sizable shares of 15-year-olds in school are unable to understand what they read beyond the most basic levels. Economic disparities, gender and geographical barriers, ethnic and linguistic discrimination, and lack of cultural relevance impact educational achievement, learning, and the development of skills.
Shortfalls in education follow individuals throughout their lives. Labour force participation rates have been declining slowly in nearly all world regions and income brackets since 1990. This is particularly true for youth participation (15-24) and can be partly attributed to improved levels of educational attainment, but one in five youth today is not in employment, education or training. Significant discrepancies in labour market participation persist based on gender. COVID-19 has brought significant disruptions and has setback progress being made towards gender equality.
Backsliding educational achievement: The proportion of children in low- and middle-income who cannot read a simple text by age 10 may increase from the pre-pandemic 50% to potentially up to 70%.
Slow growth in access to early childhood education and higher education: Gaps for early and higher education are projected to remain especially wide. For example, while high income countries could reach 100% participation in higher education as early as 2034, less than 15% participation is projected in low-income countries by 2050.
Increasing climate impacts on education: Climate change and ecosystem destabilization will introduce new challenges to ensuring the right to education, for example through teacher and student displacement, damage to school buildings, food insecurity, disease, and poverty, especially for the most vulnerable.
Changes in the labor market: Labor markets will continue to be reshaped by a varied set of structural changes that include the rise of ‘gig’, freelance, and contractor economies, AI, automation, etc. New jobs will emerge as sustainable technologies are adopted, but other jobs will disappear as countries scale back on carbon consumption and resource-intensive industries, presenting challenges for education to keep pace with rapid change.
Ensure learning and skills support school-to-work transitions
• Make education relevant to the changing forms of work: Alongside other goals, learning must be relevant to the changing world of work. Provide young people with support upon educational completion to be integrated into different kinds of labour markets – including care economies, entrepreneurial economies, labour markets and the voluntary sector.
• Expose students to different occupations: Industry and community leaders must be better brought into secondary and higher education to ensure that students are exposed to the world of work and a range of occupations.
• Provide for experiential and lifelong learning: Provide technical and vocational education and training (TVET) that integrate opportunities for relevant, high-quality, work-based learning. Educational institutions should provide career counseling, foster and support lifelong learning opportunities.
Reorient education to build environmentally sustainable futures
• Elevate sustainable development in curricula: Sustainable development should be elevated as both a guiding purpose and organizing principle for curricula, permeating all subject areas while simultaneously cutting across disciplinary boundaries.
• Develop pedagogies to engage with local realties: Support place-based, environmental, outdoor, and experiential education, and citizenship education that foster sustainable relationships with the planet.
• Strengthen literacy, numeracy, scientific capacities: Build knowledge and skills to understand and innovate creative solutions and counter misinformation by teaching students to investigate phenomena through scientific method, rigor, empiricism, and ethics.
• Emphasize ‘green skills’: Qualifications, programmes, and curricula should deliver ‘green skills’ throughout life, whether these be for newly emerging occupations and sectors – or for sectors undergoing transformation for the low-carbon economy.
• Ensure climate change education is gender-responsive: Recognize the unequal impacts of environmental destruction on women and girls, and the steps needed to increase the value of domestic and care work in every household and community.
• Assist students to adapt to changing conditions: In communities already feeling the destructive impacts of climate change, education should equip students with emergency responsiveness, impact mitigation, and other capacities to manage the “new normal” of their environments.
• Recognize the role of indigenous knowledge: Welcome and restore indigenous knowledge vital to the mitigation and adaptation to social, economic, and environmental change – such as sustainable forest management, water sowing and harvesting, biodiversity and crop resilience, seed conservation and selection – and that take an expansive view on the relationships between humans and non- humans.
Expand the right to education throughout life
• Direct higher education and training towards long-term knowledge and skills: At higher levels, education should instill people with sophisticated knowledge and cognitive skills. Education systems can gear these capabilities towards enabling people to produce long-term social and economic well- being for themselves, their families, and their communities.
• Remove barriers for access to higher education and vocational training: Governments and higher education institutions should alleviate social, cultural, and financial barriers that prevent access to higher education, or that saddle students with lifelong debt.
• Ensure the right to early childhood education: Ensure adequate and sustained public funding for quality early childhood education to promote the learning, growth and development of all children from birth, which can help to close future learning gaps later in life.
• Equalize high quality instruction at all stages of education: Prioritize high-quality instruction in the most underserved sectors and population, for example by providing pathways for teacher recruitment from within marginalized populations and providing special supports for novice and experienced teachers in schools with high rates of inequality and attrition.
Briefing Note 3.
Teachers, teaching and the teaching profession
What has been termed a global learning crisis is, first and foremost, a teaching crisis. Studies demonstrate that quality teaching is the most important in-school determinant of student achievement, and that insufficient instructional quality is a key “push” factor of early student attrition. Ensuring effective systems of recruitment, retention, support, and innovation in teaching and learning requires reimagining the important position that teachers hold in every society and the future of the teaching profession.
There has been tremendous growth in demand for qualified teachers in the past few decades due to expanded educational access. Despite widespread recognition of the importance of quality teaching, however, teachers have increasingly become under-recognized, under appreciated, underpaid and inadequately supported. Well- trained and experienced teachers are unequally distributed between regions or populations, with stark differences between urban and rural settings and between schools serving children from different socioeconomic strata and diverse cultural backgrounds. Paradoxically, the environments that require the best and most experienced teachers are predominantly serviced by novice, voluntary or underqualified educators, with high turnover and attrition. Due to demand outstripping supply, the share of qualified teachers in many regions is lower today than twenty years ago, and teachers are being squeezed by rapid change, increased societal expectations, and more tenuous working conditions.
Teacher shortage: 70 million new primary and secondary teachers will need to be recruited worldwide by 2030 to meet the targets of SDG4. Teacher qualification will be especially needed in those countries with limited opportunities for higher education, and those with the fastest growing school-aged populations.
Wage depreciation: The relative value of teaching salaries has declined over the past decades, and unless addressed, talented teachers will continue leaving the profession to seek livable wages in other occupations.
Gender inequities: An increase of women teachers in some countries has provided excuses to decrease pay or widen pay gaps, particularly for early childhood and primary education professionals.
New pressures: Pressures on teachers will likely continue to increase, including pressures to address widening learning gaps, health and safety protocols, technological adaptation, student mental health issues, and other unanticipated disruptions for which teachers stand at the “frontlines.”
Increase the attractiveness of the teaching profession
• Invite talented candidates: Strengthening awareness and the attractiveness of the teaching profession can help widen the pool of talented candidates.
• Improve salary and pay equity: Compensation should be fair and transparent, should consider responsibilities and “invisible” work beyond the classroom, and should be commensurate with cost of living and comparable professions. Gender disparities should be reconciled to achieve pay equity.
• Dignify teachers’ working conditions: Improving working conditions can include reducing class sizes, improving school infrastructure, prioritizing health and safety, strengthening professional autonomy, increasing institutional support, and fostering cultures of collaboration.
• Preserve teacher autonomy: Ministries and schools should nurture professional identity, facilitate proper induction and ongoing professional development, and ensure managerial processes that enable teachers to effectively use their judgment and expertise in designing student learning.
• Promote working in teams: Fostering professional and community collaboration can include co-teaching and teamwork with planning teams, and involve subject specialists, special education teachers, librarians, guidance counsellors, social workers, technology experts, and community organizations.
Improve professional induction, development, and ongoing support
• Create induction pathways for novice teachers: Quality induction programmes can support novice teachers throughout their first years – a time when they are most at risk of leaving – by providing collaborative structures to plan lessons, co-teach, receive mentorship, and build collegiality.
• Improve initial teacher education: Pedagogical education requires ample teaching practice and reflection. Improving teacher preparation can benefit from working with public authorities, researchers, teachers’ associations, higher education institutions, and community leaders.
• Make professional development responsive: Professional development should focus on what teachers can do to support student learning; on how teachers can respond to accelerating social, planetary, and technological change; and on learning dynamically from others in their field.
• Draw from experienced colleagues: Highly experienced teachers can enrich their profession by mentoring new teachers, facilitating planning with co-teachers, and leading subject areas. They can be afforded sabbaticals for research and further professional development to continue their learning.
• Promote coherence in the lifelong continuum of teachers’ careers: Leadership should ensure that the various components of professional teaching pathways – from recruitment, education, and professional progress – unfold holistically and in concert with one another.
Engage teachers in improving pedagogy, research, and policy for the futures of education
• Apply cooperative pedagogies: Supporting teachers to be familiar and competent with collaborative learning strategies can include: project-based learning, problem-posing, inquiry-based learning, student laboratories, technical and vocational workshops, artistic and creative collaborations.
• Personalize students’ learning: Schools should provide teachers with the latitude, preparation time, and instructional resources to adapt and design the best learning approaches for each student.
• Recognize teachers as reflexive practitioners and knowledge producers: Teachers should contribute to growing bodies of knowledge needed to transform educational environments, policies, research, and practice, within and beyond their own profession.
• Operate schools as learning organizations: Teachers should be given central voices in contributing to schools’ visions, plans, decision-making, and change, across all parts of the school system. Schools should be governed as integrated systems for the organization and sharing of learning
• Promote cultures of research, innovation and exploration: Teachers should be allowed to pioneer efforts to collaborate and learn together in a culture of research, innovation and exploration, for example in action-research, project work, and experimentation with new techniques.
• Prepare teachers for future disruptions: All education actors should draw on “futures thinking” to prepare teachers for a wide range of possible scenarios, as they continue to be at the frontlines of helping students to navigate their changing world in contextually relevant and age-appropriate ways.
Briefing Note 4.
Digital Learning and transformation
The accelerating transformation of our societies driven by digitalization and digital technologies is reshaping the ways we live and learn. Digital technologies, particularly those geared towards enhancing connectivity, can enrich certain educational processes and improve some learning outcomes. They should be bent in the direction of supporting human rights, enhancing human capabilities, and facilitating collective action in the directions of peace, justice and sustainability. Yet, we have not yet figured out how to fully deliver on these many promises.
There are inherent contradictions in digitalization and digital technologies. In this respect the ‘digital revolution’ is no different than other great moments of technological change, as major collective gains come with worrisome increases in inequality and exclusion due to gaps in infrastructure and in access to connectivity devices, learning platforms, quality digital materials, and digital competencies. Connectivity rates are woefully asymmetric globally, with approximately two out of every three children and youth having no internet access at home, with girls and women less likely to have digital skills and access. At the same time, in some countries, it is not uncommon for an average person to spend ten hours a day online and immersed in digital technology.
The world of education is caught up in a set of varied, provisional, and emergent relationships with digital technologies. Computers are used in many classrooms and homes around the globe; mobile phones are increasingly used in diverse educational settings and are beginning to play a role in resource-poor areas. Yet digital skills gaps on the part of students and teachers still present major barriers to technology use for education. Many recognize the vast and exciting educational potential of the internet, email, mobile data, video and audio streaming, along with the sophisticated collaboration and learning tools increasingly becoming available. The digital transformation raises many human rights questions, for example around the right to information, to privacy, to culture, to democratic participation. Digital technologies have the potential to both strengthen and weaken core principles of human dignity, such as the ability to form and pursue one’s own purposes.
Substitution of machines for human decision-making: Algorithmic machine-learning and AI could alter social and political decision-making and replace human judgment with technological processes that could bring transparency but could also remain cloaked in secrecy and complexity.
Erosion of intellectual and personal freedom: Digital technology increases possibilities for surveillance and control, creating increased room for abuse and the erosion of intellectual freedom by authorities, corporations, or oligarchic regimes.
Digital technology and commercial interests: The most common digital platforms used in education today are designed to meet business objectives of their proprietors, for example by selling advertising, increasing reliance on associated services, or harvesting user data. While this practice may continue to expand, the further development of open-code and public options could shift this landscape away from commercialism.
Life in virtual worlds: The continued displacement of social, political, cultural, economic – even inter-personal
– life into virtual spaces could profoundly change human relationships, interactions, aspirations and thought patterns, as well as our core approaches to teaching and learning.
Ensure that digital technology in education empowers and connects people
• Support learner wellbeing: Accompany digital technology’s use in education with efforts to avoid and address their potential for isolation, which can result in increased loneliness and anxiety.
• Increase public investment in open digital resources: Support the creation of public digital platforms and open educational resources that are unbeholden to commercial interests and based on a commitment to the common good.
• Build capacity to determine how technology is used: Support teachers and students to gain enhanced digital skills, empowering them to act together on technology to determine how it is used and for what purposes.
• Respect “offline” life-worlds. Ensure that the rush for technological solutions does not consume non-digital forms of knowing and learning. Avoid assuming that expectations of personal connectivity must become constant and ubiquitous, and pair discussions of the right to connectivity with rights around non-connectivity.
Center the most marginalized
• Commit resources to closing digital divides: Enable anytime, anywhere internet access for students and teachers, in order to equalize digital educational opportunity.
• Safeguard cultural diversity: Ensure that digitalization supports rather than threatens cultural diversity.
• Adopt principles of inclusive design: In place of digital innovations that benefit privileged learners first (e.g. by ability, socioeconomic status, or urban setting) and are then spread to those in more vulnerable and marginalized situations, we should instead begin with learners who are most in need of greater opportunities and ‘scale out’ to more privileged communities.
Require technology to serve educational purposes
• Employ digital technology to support – not replace – schools: Prioritize the essential role of effective in-person schooling, and use digital technology in service of enriching their learning environments.
• Leverage digital connectivity to enhance access to knowledge: Support teachers’ and students open access information, texts, and art forms from across the world.
• Use digital tools for creation and communication: Draw on digital tools to promote effective communication between parents, teachers, and students to assisting parents to support their children’s school learning. Enable students to produce videos, make mixed-media presentations, and code games and apps that take their creative ideas out into the world.
• Insist on strict data protections: Provide a high level of protection for the privacy of teacher and student data. Keep educational data localized to teachers’ and students’ use for reflexive improvement, rather than extracting data for surveillance and control.
• Ensure ethical use of AI and algorithms: When AI and digital algorithms are brought into schools we much ensure that the data sets they are trained on do not reproduce existing stereotypes and systems of exclusion.
Briefing Note 5.
Financing of education
To properly serve our societies and our common future, education must remain a public societal endeavor and must be strengthened as a common good. Adequate and sustainable domestic public financing is essential for this. The 2021 GEM Paris Declaration urges all government so develop strategies to increase resources for education and use these resources effectively. As demonstrated by the COVID pandemic, international financing will continue to be needed, particularly for emergency response and educational reconstruction after crises and emergencies.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic some estimated an annual funding shortfall of US$148 billion in low and middle-income countries – the gap between the resources currently being made available and what would be necessary to achieve the education systems called for in the 2030 Agenda. Around the world, at all income levels, there are still many countries that fall short of the commitments made at the 2015 World Education Forum in Incheon of allocating at least 4-6% of GDP and/or at least 15-20% of total public expenditure to education.
Certain trends towards crass commercialism and profiteering in education threaten to transform education from being a public good to becoming a market good. As non-state involvement in education policy, provision and monitoring grows, the governance challenge is to ensure that multi-stakeholder involvement is always directed at strengthening the equity, quality and relevance of education as a public societal endeavor and common good.
Continued education funding gaps: Unless necessary action is taken, the period of fiscal constraint brought about by the prolongation of the COVID-19 pandemic could increase the education funding gap in low and middle-income countries to as much as US$200 billion annually.
More equitable forms of international cooperation: An international architecture for educational cooperation profoundly shaped by colonialism, a north-to-south dynamic, and the domination of national economic and geo-political interests is being increasingly challenged as new forms of partnership, south-south and triangular forms of development cooperation are on the rise.
Increased civil society engagement and advocacy in education at local, national and international scales: New partnerships among governments and non-state actors – such as teacher associations, youth movements, community-based groups, philanthropies & trusts, professional associations, religious institutions, and social movements – are making education increasingly present on the agendas of domestic, regional and global political bodies.
Increasing climate impacts on education: Climate change and ecosystem destabilization will introduce new challenges to ensuring the right to education, for example through teacher and student displacement, damage to school buildings, food insecurity, disease, and poverty, especially for the most vulnerable – all of which have significant financing implications.
Generate and prioritize shared goals
• Ensure that domestic and international finance follows commitments: Fiscal constraint caused by the prolongation of the Covid-19 pandemic means a growing need to prioritize action around shared goals more sharply.
• Continue strong collaboration among global actors: Global actors must come together to support common advocacy and fundraising agendas for achieving COVID recovery and SDG4, coordinating rather than competing for bilateral and philanthropic funding.
Build capacity and broker knowledge
• Ensure equity in the taxation system: Public authorities must be able to raise adequate public finance through equitable taxation policies. One dimension of this is national and international action to ensure that private wealth is not sequestered in offshore tax havens but appropriately contributes to the public good.
• Enhance regulation and responsiveness: States play a key role in regulating educational provision and the proper use of public funds by ensuring that all providers within a given ecosystem respect human rights and provide learning experiences that are safe and of good quality. Good governance of educational systems requires the engagement of citizens and other stakeholders in decision-making and dialogue, and implies a need for transparency and accountability at all levels.
• Adopt the principle of subsidiarity: All actors who come to the international cooperation table should organize their work around the principle of subsidiarity since, the more concrete and locally-owned a goal, the more viable it becomes as a target for collective advocacy and accountability, and the more likely specific ‘owners’ of the goal will ensure its enactment.
• Strengthen the capacity of others to act: Efforts should focus on enhancing capacity for consensus- based commitments and ensuring accountability for these commitments. In this regard global actors can be especially effective when they act as brokers of knowledge and evidence and ensure the participation of diverse actors in knowledge generation and utilization.