Commonwealth Education Partnership (CEP) for Sustainable Development
- Education is critical in shaping individual and collective knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes.
- It builds equitable, prosperous, secure societies, and can lift entire communities out of poverty.
- The Commonwealth Secretariat, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) pledged to work together to support all member states in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through education, learning and training (20CCEM, Fiji).
- We harness the potential of our organisations to support member states to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Our Unique Combined Strengths & Assets
The Commonwealth Secretariat recognises learning for life as an indispensable condition of development. As the main intergovernmental agency of the Commonwealth, the Secretariat promotes democracy, rule of law, human rights, good governance, and social and economic development. It supports decision and policy makers to think differently and plan for long-term outcomes while tackling complexities at local, regional, and global levels, including through the development and implementation of effective policies and programmes aided by toolkits and frameworks. The Secretariat’s programmes have long championed young people and made space for youth voices.
COL is an intergovernmental organisation that helps member states and institutions in strengthening their education policies and programmes. It promotes learning for sustainable development and is working with partners to achieve the targets of SDG 4 in education and skills, with gender as a crosscutting theme. Its work includes secondary schooling, teacher education, higher education, and technical and vocational skills development.
The ACU is an international organisation that brings together universities from around the world and people who study and work within them. The ACU champions higher education as a cornerstone of stronger societies, supporting its members, partners, and stakeholders as they adapt to a changing world. It connects and convenes over 500 member institutions – bringing them together to share best practice, build institutional capacity, and develop long-term partnerships. It also supports the exchange of knowledge and skills through managing international scholarship schemes and innovative higher education programmes.
The CEP presently includes other Commonwealth organisations and aims to deliver as One Commonwealth to:
- Inform and guide education decision making in member states by analysing factors at the level of national education systems such as policies on teachers, curriculum, governance practices, non-formal education programmes
- Share examples of good policy practice, experiences between countries and promote policy dialogue to facilitate effective decision making at country level
- Support member states monitor progress towards the SDG targets that explicitly include education and learning
- Convene multiple partners and facilitate coordinated approach at country level.
ACLALS was started in 1964 and accredited in 2005 to promote and coordinate Commonwealth Literature Studies, organise seminars and workshops, arrange lectures by writers and scholars, publish a newsletter about activities in the field of Commonwealth Literature and hold one conference triennially.
The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is an international organisation bringing universities together from around the Commonwealth to advance knowledge, promote understanding, broaden minds and improve lives. The ACU supports its members, partners and stakeholders to promote higher education as a cornerstone of strong societies.
The Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology and Mathematics Educators (CASTME) was established in 1974 as an NGO recognized by the Commonwealth Secretariat. It aims to share the best practices in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in a locally relevant context to ensure access to STEM is universally available.
The Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA) is a Pan-African organization that was established following a resolution of the 7th Commonwealth Conference of Education Ministers that was held in Accra, Ghana in March 1977, with a mandate to support professional and skills development and to promote policy advocacy in favour of technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
The Commonwealth Consortium for Education was established by a group of education-related Commonwealth NGOs, to coordinate their efforts on behalf of Commonwealth education, to stimulate more coherence in their work and to provide a collective mechanism for interaction with ministries and official Commonwealth organisations.
The Commonwealth council for Educational Administration and Management (CCEAM) is an organisation dedicated to fostering cooperative and collaborative exchanges internationally amongst education leadership administration and management professionals. The CCEAM is affiliated to the Commonwealth Consortium for Education.
The Commonwealth Education Trust was established in 2007 and is a registered charity dedicated to advancing teachers and working in partnerships across the 54 Commonwealth countries. The trust has history back to 1886. The current focus of the trust is to invest in teachers, primarily through their flagship programme Teach2030.
The Commonwealth Foundation was established by Heads of Government as an intergovernmental organisation to strengthen civic voices in public dialogue to build democratic societies. The Commonwealth Foundation is the agency for civil society which is a stand-alone organisation established by, funded by and reporting to governments around the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Girls Education Fund sponsors girls of ability to complete secondary school where without their assistance, would be unable to continue. The Fund gives girls a sense of their own value and worth and enables them to act as ambassadors for female education within their own communities.
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1987 by the Heads of Government to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
The Commonwealth Legal Education Association was founded in 1971 to foster and promote high standards of legal education in the Commonwealth. The Association aims to make legal education socially relevant and professional useful.
The Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec) is the intergovernmental organisation that supports member countries to achieve the Commonwealth’s aims of development, democracy and peace. ComSec aims to create and sustain a Commonwealth that is mutually respectful, resilient, peaceful and prosperous that cherishes equality, diversity and shared values.
The Commonwealth Students Association (CSA) was launched in 2012 at the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (18CCEM). The Association unifies and represents the needs and aspirations of national student councils and other student organisations in the Commonwealth.
Commonwealth Teachers’ Group
The Commonwealth Teacher’s Group aims to provide advice and representation of the interests of member organisations within the Commonwealth in the context of the policies of Education International.
Education International is a global union federation that represents more than 300 million teachers and education workers across the globe.
Council for Education in the Commonwealth
The Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC) was founded over 50 years ago during the first Commonwealth Education Ministers’ Conference. It is a parliament based NGO and the purpose of the council is to create informed public opinion on issues in education and training in the Commonwealth. It also should identify appropriate ways that Britain and the EU can best contribute to its development.
The Royal Commonwealth Society was established in 1868 as a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Through youth empowerment, education and high-level advocacy, the society champions the importance of literacy, equality and inclusion across the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Educational Partnership for Sustainable Development
Reaffirming the core values and principles of the Commonwealth as declared by its Charter, the Secretary- General, in her central role as facilitating consultation and cooperation among member governments, countries and accredited organisations, through the Secretariat as the main intergovernmental agency promoting democracy, rule of law, human rights, good governance, and social and economic development.
Emphasising that education is critical in shaping individual and collective knowledge, skills, values and attitudes; that it builds equitable, prosperous, secure societies and can lift entire communities out of poverty, to deliver the mandates given by the Commonwealth Heads of Government.
Promoting the centrality of education to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), the Secretary- General through the Commonwealth Secretariat, supported by the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), and other accredited organisations pledge to work together to support all member states in achieving the SDGs through education.
Stressing upon the great importance of education, learning and training as an indispensable condition of development, the Commonwealth Secretariat supports decision and policy- makers to think differently and plan for long-term educational outcomes while tackling complexities at local, regional, and global levels, including through development of policy toolkits and frameworks.
Recognising the potential of technologies to expand access to education and training, COL, as an intergovernmental organisation, helps member states and institutions in strengthening their education policies and programmes.
It promotes learning for sustainable development and is working with partners to achieve the targets of SDG 4 in education and skills, with gender as a crosscutting theme. Its work includes secondary schooling, teacher education, higher education and technical and vocational skills development.
The virtual University for Small States in the Commonwealth focuses on the needs of all small states. COL in an acknowledged world leader in open educational resources and renewed for its innovations in educational technology.
Mindful of the power of higher education to drive sustainable development, the ACU is the voice of higher education in the Commonwealth. With over 500 member universities, it is the bridge between the higher education sector and governments – engaging constructively to foster a supportive and informed policy environment for higher education domestically and internationally. It connects and convenes member institutions – bringing them together to share best practice, build institutional capacity, and develop long- term partnerships.
It supports the exchange of knowledge and skills – through managing international scholarships schemes and innovative higher education programmes.
Herewith gathered together at the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers, we take note of calls for partnerships to achieve our common aims.
We pledge, in response, to work in partnerships to deliver as one Commonwealth and harness the potential of our organisations to support member states to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, including by:
- Developing joint collaborative knowledge building and sharing programmes through research and technical support;
- Providing a forum for the discussion, dissemination and scaling up of good practise;
- Strategically leveraging each organisation’s niche and comparative advantage;
- Nurturing policy dialogue and implementation at national, regional and global levels;
- And are committed to remain responsive to the evolving needs of our member states, their citizens in particular the young people of the Commonwealth, to ensure that no- one is left behind.