All governments must:

  • Develop credible and clear roadmaps for the implementation of the full SDG 4 agenda. Governments must:
    • “...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 primary and secondary education, and end support 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, professionally qualified, motivated and supported.
    • Review education plans, budget proposals and spending for differential impact on girls and women, persons with disabilities, indigenous communities, refugees and displaced persons and other disadvantaged groups, through gender and inclusion audits to address educational inequalities.
    • 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 a minimum of 6% GDP and 20% of national budgets to education, of which at least 50% must be dedicated to basic education.
    • Maximising revenue available for investment in education and to address inequality through building progressive 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.
    • Reversing rising privatisation of education through enhancing the scale and quality of public provisioning and improving capacities for planning, monitoring and implementation.
    • Putting in place robust mechanisms for oversight and regulation of private sector players in line with the Human Rights Council resolution calling for regulation of the private sector.
  • Put in place clear mechanisms for transparency and accountability to citizens 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 unions and associations, as part of social dialogue around policy making, planning, budgeting and in monitoring progress
    • Ensuring that these mechanisms are responsive to and prioritize the participation from 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.

Donor countries must also:

  • Play their part to ensure domestic implementation of the universal SDG agenda.
  • Set out clear national plans to deliver 0.7% of GNP as ODA by 2020 and commit at least 15-20% of all ODA to education. At least half of education aid must go to basic education.
  • Allot at least 4% of humanitarian aid to education.
  • Make bold pledges to finance education (in the GPE replenishment and to Education Cannot Wait), reversing the recent declines in spending on education.

The private sector should:

  • Transparently pay all applicable taxes in developing 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 governments of funds to invest in education.
  • Pledge financial contributions to the Global Partnership for Education during the 2017 replenishment.

The UN system and the international community should:

  • Support member states in the above objectives to fulfil the vision of free, publicly funded, equitable, quality education.
  • Take steps to ensure regulation of the private sector in education in line with the Human Rights Council Resolution.
  • Ensure adequate financing for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to support implementation of the Education 2030 agenda.
  • Build a more inclusive humanitarian system that recognises the need for sustained action for delivering education in emergency settings, including in chronic emergencies.
  • Reiterate the value of education as a public and collective good, reiterate the need for public education and call for stronger regulation of private providers in line with Human Rights Council resolution in this regard.
  • Call for an increase in expenditure to promote equity, inclusion and quality education for learners from marginalised groups such as persons with disabilities, pastoralist communities and indigenous peoples.