The Learning Generation: Investing in education for a changing world – The Education Commission


The Learning Generation: Investing in education for a changing world
The Education Commission
May 2018 :: 176 pages
The Commission is co-convened by Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, President Peter Mutharika of Malawi and the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, serves as the Chair of the Commission. The Commission comprises the following high-level individuals representing diverse geographical and disciplinary backgrounds

Education and skills are essential for the realization of individual potential, national economic growth, social development and the fostering of global citizenship. In the coming decades, as technology, demographic change and globalization reshape the world we live in, they will become ever more important.

Economies will rise or fall depending more on their intellectual resources than their physical resources. The valuation of companies will depend more on human capital than physical capital. The pathway to growth for developing economies will depend less on traditional forms of export-led growth and more on education-led growth.

And yet the world today is facing a global learning crisis. If current trends continue, by 2030 – the date the international community has set for attaining quality secondary education for all – less than 10 percent of young people in low-income countries will be on track to gain basic secondary level skills. The costs of this learning crisis – unemployment, poverty, inequality and instability – could undermine the very fabric of our economies and societies.

But there is a better vision for the future of global education and young people. Indeed, it is possible to ensure that all children and youth are in school and learning the skills they need to be successful in work and life. Based on research from the Education Commission, this vision is achievable within a generation if all countries accelerate their progress to that of the world’s top 25 percent fastest improvers in education. This report proposes the largest expansion of educational opportunity in history and outlines the reforms and increased financial investment required to achieve it…

The global investment mechanism
The Commission envisions a Financing Compact for the Learning Generation where one country’s pledge to invest in education will trigger the support of the international community. Mobilizing new finance will require innovative approaches to financing and new ways to leverage existing resources. In today’s world of economic insecurity and cynicism about the potential impact of international spending, making the smart and evidence-driven case for more funds — louder and more effectively — is vital.

But it simply won’t be enough. We need to find new and creative ways to shake up the
global financing of education.

The Commission makes bold recommendations to bring together the one set of institutions that can make the biggest difference today — the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) that have the power to leverage up to $20 billion of extra funding for education annually. Our proposal for a groundbreaking Multilateral Development Bank Investment Mechanism for Education combines the unique opportunity to leverage substantial additional MDB financing and scale financing for education with key strengths of earlier proposals for a global fund for education. Raising international funding levels for education to match those already achieved by the health community is not just a moral imperative. In an inter-connected global economy, it is a smart and vital investment.

The Commission’s work builds upon the vision agreed to by world leaders in 2015 with the Sustainable Development Goal for education: To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education by 2030 and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The aims and actions
set out in this report are in line with, and intended to help to deliver this goal.

The Commission now proposes what would be the largest expansion of educational opportunity in modern history. Its success depends upon implementing the agenda for action set out in this report…