#04 Global Education Monitoring Report 2019: What lessons for international cooperation?

Author: Thibaut Lauwerier

On the occasion of the official launch of UNESCO’s 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report, this article aims to promote the first interview of 𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗖𝗼𝗼𝗽, conducted with a member of the team that produced it, Dr. Nicole Bella, statistician and senior policy analyst. The interview focuses on the contribution of international cooperation to progress in the education sector and on areas that should receive increased attention from cooperation.

In part 1, Nicole Bella reminds us of the role of the report. This includes monitoring progress related to SDG 4 on education. From this point of view, it makes it possible to inform international cooperation actors not only about progress but also about global challenges. Beyond this monitoring, the report focuses on a specific theme each year. In 2019, the issue of migration, displacement, and their links with education is being addressed in greater depth.

Despite undeniable progress at the global level, many challenges remain in the education sector, according to the report, including:

  • Access to education (at all levels);
  • Girls’ schooling;
  • School completion;
  • Literacy;
  • Quality of learning.

Quality of learning, an SDG 4 priority, increasingly mobilizes international cooperation (part 2).

In part 3, the interview highlights the contribution of international cooperation to global educational progress. The SDGs provide for enhanced action by cooperating in the fight against poverty, including providing support for education. While noting that States remain the main donors to the sector, international assistance remains necessary for low-income countries, even if it does not target them as a priority (for example, aid to basic education in these contexts decreased from 36% in 2002 to 22% in 2016). Among the major initiatives to mobilize international funds for education to reverse this trend, Bella discusses the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Education Cannot Wait and the Commission for Education. As the report focuses on migration-related issues, it focuses on supporting international cooperation for refugees and more inclusive education systems.

Finally, in part 4, the interview turns to possible actions for international cooperation in education to address the specific challenge of migration (knowing that there is a greater concentration of migrant flows within low-income countries despite what the intense media coverage of this issue in the North suggests). Among the recommendations made in the report, Bella highlights:

  • Respect for the right to education;
  • Development of inclusive education systems;
  • Promotion of the diversity of the teaching staff;
  • Strengthening humanitarian aid for education.