Education – Major Programme I

Since its creation in 1945, UNESCO’s mission has been to contribute to the building of peace, poverty eradication, lasting development and intercultural dialogue, with education as one of its principal activities to achieve this aim.

Education is the pivot around which lives revolve and the Organization is committed to a holistic and humanistic vision of quality education worldwide, the realization of everyone’s right to education, and the belief that education plays a fundamental role in human, social and economic development


As the only United Nations agency with a mandate to cover all aspects of education, UNESCO’s work encompasses educational development from pre-school through to higher education, including technical and vocational education and training, non-formal education and literacy, global citizenship, sustainable development, HIV and AIDS, health and human rights among others.

For the biennium 2014 – 2017, the Education Sector is committed to achieving the following strategic objectives:

Main line of action 1: Supporting Member States to develop education systems to foster high-quality and inclusive lifelong learning for all.

  • National capacities strengthened to develop and implement policies and plans within a lifelong learning framework.
  • National capacities strengthened to scale up inclusive and gender-responsive quality literacy programmes.
  • Capacities of Member States strengthened to design and implement policies aiming at transforming TVET
  • National capacities strengthened to develop evidence-based higher education policies to address the challenges of equity, quality, inclusion, expansion, mobility and accountability;
  • National capacities strengthened, including through regional cooperation, to develop and implement teacher policies and strategies so as to enhance the quality of education and promote gender equality.
  • Capacities of Member States strengthened to promote, monitor and assess the processes and outcomes of competency-based learning.
  • National capacities strengthened to develop and implement technology policies in education, particularly in teacher training and professional development;

Main line of action 2: Empowering learners to be creative and responsible global citizens

  • Member States integrate peace and human rights education components in education policies and practices.
  • Capacities of Member States strengthened to integrate ESD into education and learning, and ESD strengthened in the international policy agenda.
  • Member States deliver good quality health education, HIV and comprehensive sexuality education that contribute to healthy lifestyles and gender equality.

Main line of action 3: Leading and coordinating the Education 2030 agenda through partnerships, monitoring and research.

  • Coordination and monitoring mechanisms established and evidence from research generated in support of sustained political commitment for the Education 2030 agenda.

The Specialized Committee on Education The Commission has a Specialized Committee on Education, drawing from the Framework for Action for the roll-out of the Education 2030 Agenda.

The Specialized Committee on Education is made up of nine (9) members drawn from stakeholder institutions and non-governmental organizations.

It provides expert advice relating to education on the following themes:

  • Sustainable Development Goals

2015 marked the target dateline for reaching the Education for All Goals which were adopted in Dakar, Senegal (2000) and the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Gearing towards the dateline, several inter-linked processes were launched, aiming at shaping the post-2015 development agenda for Education. Reflections and debates were organized concerning the vision, shape and scope of the post-2015 education agenda as well as the way the future education agenda should be articulated with the post-2015 development agenda. These activities eventually culminated in the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations Assembly at a Special Summit in September, 2015. The Sustainable Development Goals were to build on the Millennium Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals, which consist of 17 goals with 169 targets, seeks to realize inclusive and equitable economic, social and environmental sustainable development. A reflection of the Sustainable Development Goals ambitious intentions – the principle not to leave anyone behind – plays an integral part in the goals.

UNESCO has therefore been entrusted to lead the Global Education 2030 Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal 4.

In achieving these goals and targets, UNESCO has developed a blueprint – the Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA) – to assist all Member States in the roll-out. The Ministry of Education is in the process of developing a draft National Action Plan towards achieving the Education 2030 Agenda.


Education Publications