(3) Quality Education for All
Education plays an important role in the socio-economic development that is needed for poverty reduction. It also enables individuals to develop their potential and capability, as well as to live with dignity. Education fosters understanding of other people and different cultures, and forms the foundation for peace. However, approximately 61 million children worldwide are still out of elementary school. In particular, in countries and regions affected by conflict, the proportion of out-of-school children that was 29% in 2000 had increased to 35% (approximately 21.5 million children) in 2014, making this an increasingly serious problem.(Note 16)
To improve this situation, the SDGs has set out Goal 4 as “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
The international community formulated the “Education 2030 Framework for Action”* in 2015 with the aim of achieving Goal 4 of the SDGs.
Valuing “nation-building” and “human resources development,” Japan has been providing developing countries with a broad range of support for education, including the enhancement of basic education,* higher education, and vocational training.
At the timing of the UN Summit for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, Japan announced a new education cooperation strategy entitled “Learning Strategy for Peace and Growth.” This strategy was formulated to serve as a thematic policy in the field of education under the Development Cooperation Charter (approved by the Cabinet in 2015). In formulating the strategy, a wide range of views was exchanged with experts in development education, NGOs, international organizations, and other parties. This strategy aims to achieve quality education through mutual learning, under the following basic principles: (i) education cooperation to achieve inclusive and equitable quality learning; (ii) education cooperation for industrial, science and technology human resources development and building the foundation of socio-economic development; and (iii) establishment and expansion of global and regional networks for education cooperation.
At the UN High-level Political Forum held in July 2017, then Foreign Minister Kishida focused on children and youth and expressed Japan's intention to provide $1 billion in support until 2018, primarily in the fields such as education, health, disaster risk reduction, and gender. Japan is steadily implementing support programs that include securing educational opportunities for children placed in vulnerable situations, vocational training, improving the human rights situation for women and children, and countermeasures against infectious diseases as well as improvement of sanitation for children.
Also, with regard to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE),* which lays out the international framework for achieving universal primary education, Japan has contributed approximately $24.76 million to the GPE Fund from FY2007 to FY2016. In partner countries that received support through GPE, more than 72 million children became able to receive primary education in 2015 as compared to 2002.(Note 17)
Regarding initiatives for Africa, at TICAD V held in 2013, Japan announced that it would provide quality educational environments for 20 million children over the course of five years starting in 2013, through the expansion of support for projects to improve math and science education and school management. Japan is steadily implementing these initiatives. In addition, at TICAD VI held in 2016, Japan announced that it would train approximately 20,000 science and mathematics teachers over the course of three years starting in 2016, contributing to strengthening basic academic skills in science and technology.
Furthermore, in order to contribute to the development of education and improvement of its quality in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan established a trust fund within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to implement projects for improving the operational capacity of community learning centers to promote lifelong learning, among other purposes.
Japan is also engaged in efforts to strengthen networking among higher education institutions between Japan and ASEAN, collaborating with the industrial sector, and participating in joint research projects with neighboring countries. Japan also supports human resources development in developing countries by accepting international students to Japanese institutions of higher education and other institutions in accordance with the “300,000 International Students Plan,” and through other such measures.
In Kenya, the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University established the Kenya Research Station in 2005, which is developing research activities pertaining to tropical infectious diseases, global health, etc. Through these activities, the research station accepts Kenyan and Japanese undergraduate, masters and doctoral students, and helps to develop researchers and other core human resources to lead the healthcare sector in Africa in the future. Furthermore, the university also provides health education for children and puts into practice regional health activities through the school health activities of the JICA Partnership Program.
•Promoting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
After the “UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)”* held in Japan in 2014, activities related to ESD have been carried out worldwide under the “Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD,” adopted as the successor program to the “UN Decade of ESD (UNDESD)” program. Japan supports implementation of GAP through financial contribution to a trust fund at UNESCO and is actively promoting ESD by establishing the “UNESCO-Japan Prize on ESD.”
- *Education 2030 Framework for Action
- This framework for action succeeds the EFA Dakar Framework for Action aimed at achieving education for all, adopted at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal in 2000 with a target date of 2015. The Education 2030 Framework for Action was adopted at the Education 2030 High-Level Meeting, which was held to coincide with the UNESCO General Conference in 2015.
- *Basic education
- Basic education is educational activities designed to enable individuals to acquire the knowledge, values, and skills needed to live. It mainly refers to primary education, lower secondary education (equivalent to Japanese junior high school), pre-school education, and adult literacy education.
- *Global Partnership for Education (GPE)
- GPE refers to an international partnership established under the leadership of the World Bank in 2002, which supports the education sector in developing countries. Its members include developing countries, donor countries and organizations, civil society, and private-sector corporations and foundations. It was renamed as GPE from Fast Track Initiative (FTI) in 2011.
- *Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
- ESD refers to education that fosters leaders responsible for creation of sustainable societies. “Sustainable development” means development that “meets the needs of the present generation while also meeting the needs of future generations.” In order to build a society that realizes this education, it is necessary to recognize a variety of challenges in contemporary society such as environment, poverty, human rights, peace, and development as one's own problems, and to then work to find solutions for them. For that purpose, ESD puts importance on creating new values and actions.
The Project for Extension and Renovation of Japan School, Tegucigalpa
Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Project (October 2014 - February 2016)
In 2003, then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi introduced the historical story of “Kome Hyappyo” to then President Ricardo Maduro of Honduras on the occasion of his visit to Japan. Kome Hyappyo is a tale based on the history of the domain of Nagaoka, which suffered extreme poverty in 1870 and received 100 sacks of rice from other domains. Despite its poverty, the officials of Nagaoka chose not to consume all of the rice for food but instead used them as capital for building schools with a priority given to future education. The story tells the moral that enduring present suffering may lead to future benefits. Impressed with this tale, then President Maduro devised plans to enrich school education in Honduras and Japan decided to support this.
In Honduras, the Kome Hyappyo Program was launched in 2004 through the Japan's Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Project in order to improve 100 schools. Under the program, 100 schools in Honduras, including elementary, junior high, and senior high schools, underwent new building construction, existing building expansion and renovation, as well as preparation of educational equipment with the aim of improving the learning environment. A Kome Hyappyo School Monument was presented to each school of the project. In February, 2016, the Project for Extension and Renovation of “Escuela (School) Japón” in Tegucigalpa, which marked the 100th school in the program, was completed, officially fulfilling the goal of the program.
- Note 16: Source: Global Education Monitoring Report 2016
- Note 17: Global Partnership for Education HP (https://www.globalpartnership.org/data-and-results/key-results)