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19 April 2019

A new era of sustainable development was ushered in with the launch of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development in September 2015. With education being central to the realization of the ‘Leaving no one behind’ agenda, all Member States and international education community unanimously committed to achieving the SDG4 Goal, ‘Ensure equitable and inclusive quality education for all and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’ To translate it into action, Education 2030 Framework for Action was elaborated and adopted in November 2015.

With firm commitments to transforming national education systems in line with Education 2030 Agenda, Arab Member States and partners have gathered at three successive Arab Regional Meetings on Education 2030 (AR-MED) since 2015: Cairo in December 2015; Dubai in March 2017 and most recently, Dead Sea, Jordan, in November 2018. Each AR-MED resulted in concrete action points through a Roadmap, that enabled both countries and partners to generate national movement, unpack and contextualize the Agenda and its 10 Targets and Indicators, and promote multi-sectoral and –stakeholder partnerships.

Against this background, and with the aim of reporting and reflecting on national efforts undertaken to meet the Agenda 2030 objectives, UNESCO Beirut organized on 15-19 April 2019 an SDG4 Regional Indicator Training Workshop, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The workshop, held in partnership with the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), and UNICEF, aimed at documenting national efforts undertaken since 2015 on unpacking the Agenda, contextualizing it at national level and at distilling initial lessons learned and recommendations for the 2020-2030 period.

More specifically, the meeting aimed at: strengthening national capacities of Ministries of Education in the Arab region in monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda; documenting in the form of national reports, the efforts undertaken since 2015 on translation of Education 2030 global agenda into national action; elaborating a regional synthesis report capturing the main findings based on national reports; and recommending policy and programmatic directions for the 2020-2030 period.

The training targeted education and social statisticians and M&E specialist from 16 countries, and representatives from higher education ministries. Through the different sessions, participants were introduced to the updated thematic indicator framework and other recently developed tools, and reflected on key challenging indicators related to early childhood development and learning outcomes.

A synthesis report capturing main experiences, practices, lessons learned, and recommendations will be elaborated and published soon.