We live in a rapidly changing world where knowledge and innovation are major drivers of development. Therefore, good quality education and learning are becoming ever more important determinants of human, social, and economic development. However, the gap in learning outcomes between rich and poor, young and old – within and between countries – is high and often growingMany young people are still not receiving the education needed to face the challenges of today’s societies. A major factor is skills mismatch in education. To be successful in all areas of their lives, people need to have a wide range of skills: cognitive, social, and emotional. The employability of youth depends a lot on the skills they bring to the labor market.
The world’s population is older than it has ever been. Therefore, it is important that older people have the opportunity to learn on equal terms with the young. Broader access to lifelong learning opportunities should not be confined to the continuing professional development required by a fast-changing labor market. It must also help them maintain and improve their position in society. This will ultimately enhance their quality of life.
Education is one of the most powerful weapons in fighting poverty. Broadening access to good quality education for all, will help increase productivity, promote economic growth, enhance health and nutrition, and empower women. Moreover, education equips people with values and knowledge that instill respect for democracy, social justice, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability.