• Recently, a consultation meeting of Education Ministers of E9 countries was held.
  • The meeting was held on the theme ‘E9 initiative: Scaling up digital learning to accelerate progress towards SDG4’.

Important Points

  • Scaling up Digital Learning to Accelerate Progress towards SDG4 (Concept):
  • The United Nations (UN) is spearheading a global initiative on digital learning and skills for all, targeting marginalized children and youth and aiming to close the digital divide and drive rapid change in education systems.
  • This initiative focuses on three of the five priorities of the 2020 Global Education Meeting (GEM) Declaration: supporting teachers; investing in skills; and narrowing the digital divide.
  • E9 countries offer a starting gate to accelerate progress on digital learning and skills in the immediate term and ultimately on the SDG4 agenda in the longer term.

E9 Countries:

  • E9 Partnership was first established in 1993, formed to achieve the goals of UNESCO’s Education For All (EFA).
  • A group of E9 countries (Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan) aims at strengthening political will and collective effort to ensure quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  • E9 Partnership is working for the achievement of SDG4 – Education 2030.

Education For All (EFA):

  • An international initiative, first launched at the World Conference on Education for All by UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank in Thailand in 1990.
  • Participants endorsed an ‘expanded vision of learning’ and pledged to universalize primary education and massively reduce illiteracy by the end of the decade.
  • Ten years later, with many countries far from having reached this goal, a broad coalition of national governments, civil society groups, and development agencies met again in Dakar, Senegal, and affirmed the commitment to achieving EFA by the year 2015.
  • They identified six Important education goals which aim to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015 (e.g. the Dakar Framework for Action).
  • 2020 Global Education Meeting Declaration

As part of the Decade of Action to accelerate progress on SDG4 and in response to Covid-19, the 2020 GEM Declaration identified five priorities for urgent action:

  1. Education financing;
  2. Safe school reopening;
  3. Supporting teachers as frontline workers;
  4. Investment in skills; and
  5. Narrowing the digital divide.

The Covid-19 crisis revealed the weakness and unpreparedness of the current education systems worldwide, prompting the deployment of digital learning during mass school closures across almost all countries.


  • To bring sustainable development in the mainstream, the United Nations (UN) member states, in 2015, adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • There are 17 goals and 169 specific targets to be achieved by 2030.
  • SDGs are not legally binding.
  • SDG4 is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.


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