The Year in Review – Exciting Children’s Education Happenings in 2018

A declaration was released from the Global Education Meeting held in Brussels, Belgium, on December 3-5, convened by UNESCO. The Meeting reviewed progress toward the global education targets and commitments in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and brought the global community together to take stock of progress and identify strategic priority areas requiring political guidance and intervention for advancing. The Declaration sets the course for the next four years, defining eight priority areas. ACEI continued to involve itself with United Nations actions and advocacy efforts, attending United Nations meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, and New York, USA, to ensure that educators, schools, administrators, NGOs, and others who believe in the power of education continue to work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, Goal #4.

The World Development Report 2018 (WDR 2018), titled LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise, was the first ever WDR devoted entirely to education. The report asserted that education has long been critical to human welfare, and is even more so in a time of rapid economic and social change. Emphasizing that the best way to equip children and youth for the future is to place their learning at the center, the report explored four main themes: 1) education’s promise, 2) the need to shine a light on learning, 3) how to make schools work for learners, and 4) how to make systems work for learning.

It was a significant year for integrating 21st-century skills into the classroom and embracing global citizenship education.

Much activity and discussion took place in order to prepare children for a more global world. ACEI attended and presented at the Global Citizenship Conference held in Seoul, Korea, and launched our own program, Global Schools First, to address these critical areas of learning through a whole-school assessment approach. The Brookings Institution updated its Skills for a Changing World project, which seeks to ensure all children have high-quality learning opportunities that build the breadth of skills needed to create a productive, healthy society in the face of changing social, technological, and economic demands. Andreas Schleicher of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released “World Class: How to Build a 21st-Century School System.” The book examines the successes of more than 70 countries in implementing forward-looking practices in school systems, with the aim of producing students with strong social and emotional skills.

Attention was drawn to the critical issues of girls’ education, early childhood education, and educating children with disabilities. ACEI participated in two global forums focusing on increasing opportunities for girls’ education. The G-7 invested in education for some of the world’s most vulnerable girls and the Obama Foundation launched the Global Girls Alliance, which will help ensure that girls around the world receive an education. ACEI continued to serve as a resource to NGOs and schools worldwide, highlighting the importance of education and early childhood development (ECD), which includes young children’s health, nutrition, and learning. A landmark moment for ECD occurred at the G20 Summit held in Argentina. The heads of G20 nations committed to a major ECD initiative, giving their support for early years care to ensure every child has the best start in life. This was the first time the G20 has addressed ECD, a move that could help break the global cycle of poverty and inequality, especially for the most marginalized children.

Educating children with disabilities finally became a topic discussed and embedded in all corners of the education world. The first Global Disability Summit was held in London, which spurred some nations to develop their very own initiatives, recognizing that children with disabilities continue to be among the most marginalized and excluded from education opportunities. ACEI continued its involvement with the Global Partnership for Children with Disabilities, Early Childhood Development Task Force.

Innovation and interventions in education continued to advance and transform education around the world. ACEI continued to be at the forefront of providing information, resources, and stories about innovation in education through our signature publication Childhood Education: Innovations. The Brookings Institution published “Leapfrogging Inequality,” which examines a catalog of almost 3,000 global innovations to rapidly accelerate education progress. Presenting an evidence-based framework for getting ahead, the book compiles stories and resources to inspire a new vision for remaking education so that young people around the globe can thrive. The Millions Learning project released a report in preparation for launching Real-time Scaling Labs, which will generate evidence and provide practical recommendations to scale quality education interventions. By partnering with governments and local institutions in several countries, this approach will share information about interventions as they scale in real time.

Highlighting migration and displacement of children and their needs for education. This year brought a critical urgency to address the needs of children who have been displaced or marginalized. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) released its annual Global Education Monitoring report, with a focus on migration and displacement. The report argues for investing in quality education in areas with refugee emergencies and large population inflows to improve education access and quality. ACEI’s Center for Education Diplomacy continues to promote Education Diplomacy as a vital skill area for all organizations working to provide access to education for marginalized and displaced children.

We invite you to join our Global Friends program so you can continue to receive timely education information and news from us throughout 2019!