World Scouting reacts to alarming UNESCO report
The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) is alarmed by the findings of a new report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural (UNESCO) agency, released earlier this week.
The report, Meeting Commitments, reveals that the world is far behind on its international commitments to the education goals that world leaders pledged to achieve by 2030 to align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Focused on education, SDG 4 is among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by world leaders in 2015.
According to UNESCO, one in six children are not enrolled in any form of schooling today. While the world initially committed to achieving universal primary and secondary education for all young people, the current pace will result in 225 million young people to still be out of school in 2030, and only six out of 10 children, adolescents and youth will complete secondary education in 2030.
World Scouting, as one of the world’s leading educational youth movement, finds these figures alarming, when education is absolutely critical for communities to break the cycle of poverty and inequalities. Funding gaps still hindering progress on the vision of offering education for all. An increased investment in the education sector and accelerated efforts are required to allow all children and youth to access quality education.
The Scout Movement joins UNESCO in urging more investments and efforts to bring quality formal and non-formal education to millions of young people who are missing out on this fundamental human right.
Part of SDG 4 is mainstreaming education for sustainable development yet according to the report, monitoring this progress remains challenging as it is focused mainly on the content of education. Expanding the focus to include non-formal education is vital not only to help bridge the gap in access to quality education, but also to equip young people with relevant skills for our changing world.
Just earlier this week, World Scouting released a multi-country study that demonstrates the power of investing in non-formal education. The study compared young people aged 14-17 who were part of the Scouting programme with others did not took part in the non-formal education programme. In the study, Scouts reported improved self-esteem, self-confidence, interpersonal skills among other critical competencies.
UNESCO’s report, moreover, reveals the urgency for global partnerships, international and local government investments in both formal and non-formal education in order achieve our 2030 vision and achieve education for all. Building stronger alliances for promoting formal and non-formal education will be critical to achieve SDG 4. That is why World Scouting in partnership with leading international organisations, youth organisations and UN entities, is convening the World Non-Formal Education Forum in December this year. The Forum is a response to the growing need to establish an international platform that brings the world’s key actors working on non-formal education and youth development. The need for this platform is even more pressing in light of the findings of the UNESCO’s report.
Education is a human right that should be universally accessible. Children, adolescents and youth must be able to access quality formal and non-formal education, and the time to act is now.