The TES takes place in a critical context, where trends at the global level indicate that most of SDG 4 targets will not be met (Source: UNESCO GEM/UIS, 2021). In too many places, the quality of education is not at the level needed to ensure all children’s and adult’s learning, development and well-being. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated an existing crisis, depriving hundreds of millions of children, young people, and adults of access to education and deepening the inequalities existing in education systems, particularly affecting girls and vulnerable children. Before the pandemic, the world already faced a learning crisis, where 57% of children in low- and middle-income countries could not read and understand a simple text by the age of ten. That figure is now a staggering 70% (Sources: World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF, FCDO, USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2022). In addition, education systems across the world are struggling to keep up with a fast-changing world. Equipping all children with the skills, knowledge and values that they will need to thrive as citizens in society is a major challenge on the road to 2030, given the rapid pace of technological change and the uncertainty and volatility of the future.
To accelerate progress on SDG4, the United Nations (UN) have made an urgent call for action and highlighted the importance of engaging around five Action Tracks with all stakeholders, including member states, donors, policy-makers, civil society groups, young people, teachers, networks, education advocates, academia, the private sector and philanthropies (Source: UN/TES, 2022). In this context, philanthropy has responded to the UN Secretary General’s invitation to convene at the TES. Our objective is to support quality education for all as a basis to achieving all SDGs, in line with the Ministerial Communique (Source: GPE, 2022) issued by country partners to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) at the pre-TES At UNESCO in Paris.