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June 2023 Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Roundup 

June 2023 Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Roundup 

Written by

Brett Harris

Published on

June 27, 2023

After a series of high-level meetings on FLN throughout the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023, the period from March through June was punctuated by a number of key education developments. This June 2023 Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Roundup tracks key policy developments and commitments among DAC Donors, multilaterals, and other actors throughout the second quarter of 2023.

Key developments

While not garnering the same high-level pledging activity as Education Cannot Wait’s High Level Pledging Conference in February 2023, FLN remained a priority in major development fora:

  • On June 19, 2023, FLN emerged as a key priority in India’s G20 presidency. During a seminar held on the sidelines of the Pune G20 4th Education Working Group meeting, key presidency speakers and international organizations such as UNICEF highlighted the urgency of attaining and foregrounding FLN in development cooperation.

DAC Donor Updates 

  • While Ukraine, climate change, and food security took center stage at the G7 Hiroshima Summit on May 19-21, 2023, the Leaders’ Communique from the Summit reaffirmed the group’s commitment to increasing cooperation on FLN. However, the G7 Education Ministers’ meetings in Toyama and Kanazawa yielded a declaration that, though prioritizing early-childhood education, failed to acknowledge or address gaps in FLN.
  • Throughout May and June 2023, UK funding targeted FLN in at least two notable projects:
    On May 9, 2023, Andrew Mitchell announced US$38 million in support for the ASEAN Girls Education and Skills program, which positions foundational learning as one of its four guiding priorities; and At the 7th Brussels Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region on June 15, 2023, the UK pledged US$187 million for humanitarian response and quality primary education in Syria.
  • Focusing on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Save the Children, and the EU launched a review of non-formal education programs for remote FLN education on March 22, 2023. The review aims to evaluate current implementation strategies and develop a best practices handbook for similar programs.
  • Additionally, on April 12, 2023, the EU and ADEA organized a conference entitled Education Policies and Strategies for Africa: What Partnership between the European Union and Africa?, which aimed to shore up EU partnerships with African countries on education while introducing a new focus on FLN as a tool to reduce both poverty and gender inequality.

Multilateral Developments 

  • Following the EU’s February 2023, US$50 million pledge for Nepal’s new School education sector plan 2022-2032, the World Bank approved a US$120 million finance package to help educators apply Nepal’s standardized curriculum, which foregrounds foundational skills.
  • On March 22, 2023, the IDB and representatives from numerous [Latin American countries convened[(https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/latin-america-and-caribbean-reiterate-their-commitment-strengthening-and-recovering-basic-learning?hub=701) to develop concrete actions to restore and increase FLN outcomes in the LAC region under the Commitment to Action on Basic Learning and its Recovery.
  • Also in the LAC region, on May 24, 2023, the IDB and GPE mobilized US$20 million to support education programs in Belize. Specifically, US$5 million of the package was composed of grant from GPE focused on shoring up FLN outcomes.
  • After publishing evaluation data on the Nigeria Learning Passport, a digital learning program launched jointly with the Nigerian government in 2022, UNICEF urged donors and advocates to leverage digital infrastructure to boost learning outcomes, citing improved FLN outcomes.
  • On June 23, 2023, the World Bank approved a US$110 million project for Teacher Effectiveness and Competencies Enhancement in the Philippines. The project is aligned with the Philippine government's Basic Education Report 2023, which emphasizes FLN as a cross-cutting issue across educational initiatives.
Brett Harris

Brett Harris

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