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Commonwealth Education Ministers to meet in Mauritius
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Commonwealth Education Ministers to meet in Mauritius

‘Education goals are unfinished business’ – Commonwealth Secretary-General

Commonwealth education ministers will meet in Port Louis, Mauritius, from 29 to 31 August 2012 to discuss priorities for the next three years and the Commonwealth’s contribution to the post-2015 development goals framework.

Under the theme ‘Education in the Commonwealth: bridging the gap as we accelerate towards achieving internationally agreed goals,’ ministers will consider what can be accomplished before the 2015 target date for the Millennium Development Goals in Education and the Education for All goals. Agreed by governments and development agencies in 2000, these goals established a 15-year time frame for universal access to quality, inclusive and lifelong education.

While Commonwealth countries have made great strides towards meeting the goals in education, a great deal remains to be done, particularly in terms of quality, access and equal opportunities for boys and girls. It is expected that by 2015, 56 million children across the world will still not be in school, with the majority of these being girls.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said: “Education goals are unfinished business. Much has changed since the development goals were formulated. Commonwealth education ministers will meet at a time of global financial upheaval and concerns over food security and the impact of climate change.

“This important meeting will seek to articulate the gaps and examine ways to support policy makers operating in an environment with new challenges over the next three years and beyond.”

The 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers is the largest ministerial meeting on the Commonwealth calendar. There are four parallel forums, comprising teachers, post-secondary and tertiary leaders, youth, and stakeholders.

Dr Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of St Lucia, will be the keynote speaker for the ministerial meeting.

The winners of the Commonwealth Good Practice Awards will be announced on Wednesday 29 August. The awards recognise outstanding educational work that has made a positive difference to primary school children, their teachers or the education system of a country.

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