The Education Section works closely with Commonwealth member governments by conducting studies on emerging education issues, disseminating information on trends in Commonwealth education, developing tools for education professionals, and sharing best practices on innovative strategies.
It works alongside global and regional education networks and partners, thereby maximising the impact of its work. These include the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative, the School Fee Abolition Initiative, and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).
The Section also works closely with other Commonwealth bodies including the Commonwealth of Learning, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Commonwealth Teachers Grouping and the Commonwealth Consortium for Education.
In collaboration with ADEA, the Education Section has developed comprehensive teaching materials to support multi-grade teaching, where one teacher teaches a number of classes simultaneously. This has been disseminated within Africa and also, at the request of governments, within the Pacific. The materials aim to improve the quality of teaching in remote and difficult circumstances.
The section champions initiatives to promote gender responsive budgeting in education and produces publications to support gender mainstreaming in education policies.
At the request of Commonwealth Education Ministers, the Section developed the 2004 Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol to balance the right of teachers to migrate with the need to protect the integrity of national education systems. This instrument on ethical recruitment and migration has been recognised by UNESCO, the ILO, the Organization of American States, the African Union and Commonwealth Heads of Government.
Which MDGs has the Secretariat supported through their work plan?
How do we measure progress?
We measure progress through triennial meetings of Ministers of Education which provide an effective monitoring and measurement mechanism, evaluating the strengths and successes of the previous three-year work plan and providing direction to the Education programme for the coming years. We also use the EFA Global Monitoring Reports to assess progress in meeting global targets in education in Commonwealth countries.
What are the Millennium Development Goals?
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015 – form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and the entire world’s leading development institutions. (Source: UN).
The eight goals are:
What is the Commonwealth of Learning?
The Commonwealth of Learning encourages the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. It is hosted in Canada by the Government of Canada. Click here for the Commonwealth of Learning’s website
Can I get a grant for my education from the Commonwealth?
The Commonwealth Education programme used to provide such support. We no longer do so at the present time. You are invited to contact the Association of Commonwealth Universities (See acu.ac.uk website) for Commonwealth scholarships which may available.
What is the Fast Track Initiative?
The Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is a partnership of developing countries and donors created to help low-income countries achieve the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Completion of Primary Education by 2015. The Fast Track Initiative was launches in 2002 as a global partnership between donor and developing countries to ensure accelerated progress towards the EFA and Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. It is managed by the World Bank. (Source: UNESCO website)
What is Association of Development of Education in Africa? (ADEA)
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is first and foremost a forum for policy dialogue. Created in 1988, it was initially set up as a framework for better coordination among development agencies.
Twenty years after it was founded, ADEA has come to represent a genuine partnership between African education and training ministries in sub-Saharan Africa and their technical and external partners. It has also developed into a network of policy-makers, educators and researchers, and, based on its capacity to foster policy dialogue, a catalyst for educational reform. It is recognized today as being a major actor in the processes of dialogue, sharing and learning for qualitative change in education aimed at promoting Africa’s development.
This status serves ADEA’s mission to act as a catalyst for promising policies and practices through the pooling of ideas, experience, lessons learned and knowledge. (Source: ADEA website)
If we would like assistance from the Secretariat what should we do?
Requests for assistance from our Education section should be sent to:
Head of Education
Social Transformation Programmes Division
Commonwealth Secretariat, Marlborough House
Pall Mall, London
SW1Y 5HX, UK