Vassiliou: 'Education of utmost importance for new global development agenda'
The role of education in global efforts to combat poverty and boost sustainable development is the focus of a high-level debate organised by UNESCO and the Mission of Norway to the EU in Brussels tomorrow (5 February). Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will take part in the event, which comes as the international community seeks to map out a new global framework for development beyond 2015 when the UN's Millennium Development Goals expire. Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, and Bjørn Haugstad, State Secretary, Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, will also participate in tomorrow's discussion.
"Education is of utmost importance for the new global development agenda and I am confident that this will be recognised during the intergovernmental consultations and at the United Nations Summit in 2015. It is crucial that Europe and its international partners continue to support basic education for all and work together to improve equity and quality through a balanced and holistic approach from early childhood to higher education," said Commissioner Vassiliou before the meeting.
Dr Tang also underlined the centrality of education in promoting global peace and sustainability. He stated “Learning must foster a strong commitment to moral values and provide students with the tools to better their communities. This means developing students’ skills to promote democratic values as well as respect for diversity, gender equality, human rights and the environment. It is time to set a new vision that puts quality education and learning across the life cycle at the heart of the development process.”
In 2007-2013, EU bilateral and regional funding for basic primary and secondary education in developing countries, together with support for vocational education and training, amounted to nearly €6 billion. The EU provided a further €2.6 billion in funding for higher education programmes in developing countries in the same period. This support will be increased under Erasmus+, the EU’s new programme for education, training, youth and sport.
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