On 24-25 January, Buenos Aires will host the first regional ministerial meeting “E2030: Education and Skills for the 21st Century” within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Education ministers and representatives of multilateral organizations in the region will discuss how to align national education policies and priorities with the SDG 4 commitment to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”.

As the official source of data to monitor progress towards the goal, the UIS will provide an update on the global and thematic monitoring mechanisms. UIS Director, Silvia Montoya, will moderate a panel discussion on the indicator frameworks currently in place and the challenges countries in the region face in implementing them. Moreover, the panel will focus on identifying relevant criteria for developing a regional monitoring mechanism that could support the achievement of the SDG 4 targets. 

Thanks to strong cooperation under the Education for All agenda from 2000 to 2015, Latin America and the Caribbean made significant education progress in different areas, including improved literacy rates, increased access to and completion of primary and secondary education, and an expansion of higher education. Education budgets increased in most countries, and education reform processes are underway to position education at the centre of sustainable development. The Buenos Aires meeting will seek to protect these gains, while laying the foundations for country and regional initiatives to implement the Education 2030 Framework for Action.

A recent UIS study  of data availability in the Latin American and Caribbean region found most countries ready to provide the data needed to produce some of the key SDG 4 indicators, such as school enrolment and the supply of teachers. The region also has a well-established infrastructure for conducting assessments, which will facilitate the production of indicators to report progress on learning proficiency in mathematics and reading. But countries will be challenged to provide data on new priorities, such as readiness to learn among younger children and skills assessment for youth and adult populations.  

To address these gaps, the UIS is leading global initiatives that aim to develop new tools and methodologies to help countries meet the rising demand for more and better quality data. In particular, the Global Alliance to Monitoring Learning (GAML) is working with partners to help countries to build on their existing learning assessment systems, an area of relative strength in the region, to be able to report data for indicators such as Target 4.1.1: the percentages of children and youth reaching a minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics at the end of primary and lower secondary education.

The meeting is organized by the Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC/UNESCO Santiago), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sport of the Republic of Argentina.