ABOUT THIS SECTOR
There has been tremendous progress across the world since 2000 toward Education for All (EFA) and the six education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); however, challenges still remain according to the findings of the 2015 EFA Global Monitoring Report, produced by UNESCO.
In its 2014-2020 programming, the EU is supporting Education in 40 partner countries, at least half of which in fragility contexts. EU funding for education in developing countries is expected to total €4.7 billion.
As the world's larger donor, the EU and its Member States play collectively a critical role in achieving the Millennium Development education goals and in contributing to a Post 2015 Framework.
The EU supports education in development cooperation at country, regional and global levels:
At country level, the EU promotes a joint response strategy with Member States based on partners' own development strategies. Equity is bolstered at the level of countries, institutions and people in terms of equal access and participation in education including people from marginalised and vulnerable groups.
At regional level, the EU finances higher education programmes as Erasmus+. One key aim of higher education is to take able students to the stage where they can contribute to the national development of their country; this level of education is crucial for building a strong human capital base – training professionals such as teachers, doctors and engineers.
At global level, the EU is supporting the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the only existing global partnership in the sector. One of the key priorities of the partnership is education in fragile and conflict-affected states, by contributing to building capacity and to capitalising on the potential role of education in reducing conflict and building stability.
The EU prioritises a whole sector approach, from early childhood to higher education, including non-formal education and technical and vocational training, shifting the focus from access to quality and equity issues in education:
Access to education: half of the 57 million children of primary-school age who do not go to school in the world - a total of 28.5 million children - live in conflict-affected countries, 55% girls. In Somalia, for example, in response to gender imbalance in the education system, a EU-funded education programme has accelerated female participation to primary, secondary and middle level colleges. Other examples include the EU response to the Syrian crisis and the EU Children of Peace Initiative.
Quality of education: Despite being in school, a large majority of learners do not acquire even minimal levels of learning and come out of school unprepared to integrate with the world of work. In Papua New Guinea, for example, the EU is improving the quality of pre-service female teachers from remote areas through a series of scholarships and training sessions.
Equity in education: the EU is funding projects aiming at getting girls and children from all other vulnerable groups into school and ensuring that they stay and learn.
HOW WE ARE WORKING?
The EU fosters coordination with its Member States in the area of development cooperation and ensures its external representation in this field.
The EU, through DEVCO, is contributing to
- reduce poverty in the world
- ensure sustainable development and
- promote democracy, peace and security.
It also promotes a constant dialogue with partner countries and full participation of local stakeholders including civil society, local institutions, private sector and other donors.
Biannual meetings with Education and Development Experts from EU member states are organised. The last meeting was held on October 24th 2013.
The EU Delegations play a key role in presenting, explaining and implementing EU’s foreign policies. They analyse and report on the policies and developments of their host countries, maintain political dialogue, administer development aid among others. They also play a monitoring role in ensuring that vulnerable and marginalised groups, including girls and persons with disabilities, are given equal access and participation in EU development programmes.