On 21 May 2015, a Declaration setting out an important vision for education from 2016 to 2030 was adopted at the World Education Forum held in Incheon, South Korea. The Declaration will be implemented through Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA) – the education development agenda for post-2015 (currently in draft). The 2030 FFA which will form Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will succeed the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) goals expiring at the end of 2015.
The Incheon Declaration, which was approved by over 100 governments, international organisations and civil society organisations, re-affirms that education is a fundamental human right and public good that is crucial to promoting social, economic and environmental justice.
Significantly, the Declaration affirms that the responsibility for implementing the right to education agenda lies with the State. This principle was reaffirmed by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, who stated at the forum that, “[g]overnments’ responsibility for ensuring inclusive, quality education is the cornerstone of the post-2015 education agenda”.
The Declaration also calls for a commitment to twelve years of free, publically funded formal quality education for all by 2030, nine years of which should be compulsory. Other key commitments on the right to education include: ensuring access and equity issues are addressed, with a special emphasis of the importance of gender equality in achieving the right to education; improving learning outcomes and guaranteeing quality education, including by ensuring that teachers are well-trained and supported; and confirming that national governments should adhere to international spending benchmarks on education (4-6% of GDP and 15-20% of total public expenditure).
The Declaration expressed concern on the “narrow list of indicators” contained in the current draft of the 2030 FFA. The selection of indicators will be used to measure States’ progress against the SDGs in the next 25 years. The Declaration therefore recognises that it is crucial that these indicators are selected are consistent with international human rights obligations.
In January 2015, the Right to Education Project published a paper on the importance of linking the post-2015 education agenda to the human right to education. To that end, the paper outlines a detailed proposal of right to education indicators to measure the enjoyment of the right and States’ compliance with their obligations under international human rights law.For more information on the right to education and post-2015 development agenda, visit the Right to Education Project's EFA, The MDGs & Post-2015 issue page.