Governments must:

  • Develop credible and transparent roadmaps for the implementation of the full SDG 4 agenda.
  • Put in place clear mechanisms for transparency and accountability to citizens and civil society to ensure delivery on the Education 2030 Agenda and the Right to Education in general. This entails:
    • Providing a formal and structured space for meaningful active participation of civil society, including teacher and student unions and associations, as part of social dialogue around policy making, planning, budgeting and in monitoring progress
  • Ensure that these transparency and accountability mechanisms are responsive to and prioritize the participation of women, persons with disabilities and representatives from marginalized communities
  • Repealing any policies or legislations that penalize civil society activists and reversing shrinkage of civil society space.
  • “...ensure the provision of 12 years of free, publicly funded, equitable quality primary and secondary education” (Education 2030 Framework for Action)
  • Plan to provide for genuinely free education through abolishing user fees and other charges in primaryand secondary education, and end support in any form to so-called low-fee private schools.
  • Prioritise hitherto ignored targets on early childhood education, youth, adults and post-secondary/technical and vocational education and training.
  • Put in place comprehensive and long-term national plans to ensure that the supply of qualified teachers is substantially increased, and to ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, well-trained, well-paid, professionally qualified, motivated and supported.
  • Review education plans, budget proposals and spending for to address educational inequalities, ensuring a positive impact on girls and women,persons with disabilities, indigenous communities, refugees and displaced persons and other disadvantaged groups, through gender and inclusion audits.
  • Resist the narrowing of the definition of quality of education to attainment of narrowly defined learning outcomes as measured by standardised tests, and ensure that curricula, textbooks and assessment systems are in line with the existing human rights understanding of the aims of education.
  • Strengthen education governance frameworks and the overall public education system by allocating at least 6% GDP and 20% of national budgets to education, of which at least 50% must be dedicated to basic education.
  • Maximise revenue available for investment in education and to address inequality through buildingprogressive and expanded domestic systems of taxation, reviewing tax and royalty agreements in the natural resource sector, and closing loopholes which enable tax avoidance and evasion by the private sector.
  • Reverse rising privatisation of education through enhancing the scale and quality of public provisioning.


Donor countries must:

  • Play their part to ensure domestic implementation of the SDG agenda.
    • Set out clear national plans to deliver 0.7% of GNP as Overseas Development Assistance by 2020 and commit at least 15-20% of all ODA to education, and furthermore, at least half of education aid must be allocated towards basic education.6
  • Allot at least 4% of humanitarian aid to education- read more about UNESCO's recommendation.
  • Deliver on the pledges made during the GPE conference and make bold pledges towards Education Cannot Wait and other education agencies, reversing the recent declines in aid spending on education.

The private sector should:

  • Transparently pay all taxes in all countries where they make a profit and refuse to accept tax holidays/incentives, transfer pricing, aggressive tax avoidance and the use of tax havens, all of which can deprive national governments of funds to invest in education.
  • Continue to make financial contributions to the Global Partnership for Education


The UN system and the international community should:

  • Support the inclusive and timely participation of civil society in the full implementation of SDG4 at national, regional and international levels
  • Support states in the above objectives to fulfil the vision of free, equitable, inclusive quality education.
  • Ensure adequate financing for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to support implementation of the Education 2030 agenda.
  • Build a more inclusive humanitarian relief system that recognises the need for sustained action for delivering education, even in emergency settings
  • Call for an increase in expenditure to promote equity, inclusion and quality education for learners from marginalised groups such as persons with disabilities, rural or pastoralist communities and indigenous peoples.