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Minister Sherlock launches ‘Building Alliances for Education in Sustainable Development’ seminar

MoS Sean Sherlock, Irish Aid, Press Releases, Ireland, 2016

Minister underlines importance of providing more and better quality education in the world’s poorest countries

The Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation Seán Sherlock TD, today (Friday) launched a seminar on ‘Building Alliances for Education in Sustainable Development’, hosted by the Irish Coalition for the Global Campaign for Education, at the Mansion House in Dublin.

During the seminar, the main achievements and challenges relating to progress on the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) were reviewed, and the best way to take forward the commitment to inclusive and equitable education in the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) was also considered.

Last year, Ireland played a key role as co-facilitator of the negotiations leading to adoption of the SDG’s by 193 countries at the United Nations. These goals will guide actions in all countries to eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable development over the next fifteen years.

Speaking ahead of the seminar, Minister Sherlock stated:

“This seminar is further evidence of the high level of commitment to global education and, in particular, recognition of its potential as a powerful force for development.

“I particularly welcome the broader and more ambitious targets of the fourth Sustainable Development Goal which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. This builds on the significant progress made with the education-related Millennium Development Goals.

“The Government is focused upon ensuring that our overseas development programme, Irish Aid, responds to the new goals and targets. Provision of more and better quality education, especially with regard to the most marginalised groups in the world’s poorest countries, will continue to be a central element of our programme.

“Irish Aid provides direct support to the education sectors in three key partner countries: Uganda, Mozambique and Zambia. We also support selected global partners working on education development, as well as a number of NGO partners focusing on inclusivity, gender equality and accountability in education.”

ENDS
Press Office
08 January 2016

Notes to Editor:

The Irish Global Coalition for Education is a grouping of NGOs and teachers unions in Ireland, formed to track progress on Ireland’s role in achieving the Education for All Goals. Members of the Coalition include: the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, Concern, and the Irish National Teachers Organisation. The purpose of the seminar is to bring the Coalition membership together in order to create a new momentum regarding the fourth Sustainable Development Goal to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG4). The event will also be used to inform participants of the issues arising in relation to the adoption of SDG 4, and to provide a space for reflection on successes, limitations and lessons learned during progress towards the achievement of the education MDGs. Significant progress was made under the MDGs in terms of access to education; the focus going forward centres on quality, equity and lifelong learning.

Irish Aid policy priorities in relation to the education are:

o Provision of more and better education which includes improving access for marginalised groups
o Addressing the quality of education, so that all children attending school achieve basic numeracy and literacy skills
o Focusing on girls’ education beyond primary school level in the knowledge that girls’ education leads to improved health and nutrition in society

In 2014 Irish Aid allocated €37.7 million to education programmes in developing countries. This amount represents approximately 6% of bilateral ODA.

Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.