A cost simulation model helps Cambodia plan for SDG 4 education investment

26 October 2016


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25 OCTOBER 2016 – The aims of the Education 2030 Agenda are more ambitious than those of the Education for All (EFA) era that preceded and realizing this transformative vision of “inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all” will require substantially higher investments in education.

Countries must, for example, recruit 68.8 million more teachers – 24.4 million at the primary and 44.4 million at the secondary level – to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030, one of the targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics [1]. Achieving universal pre-primary, primary and secondary education in low and lower-middle income countries by 2030 is estimated to require an increase from US$149 billion in 2012 to US$340 billion [2], on average, between 2015 and 2030.

UNESCO is committed to supporting member states’ cost assessment and planning efforts as they work towards achieving SDG 4’s targets.

To that end, UNESCO Bangkok and UNESCO-IIEP organized a workshop with Cambodian officials recently to update the country’s education simulation modelling to help Cambodia accelerate efforts to meet its SDG commitments.

Education simulation modeling is a powerful tool that countries can use to anticipate resource requirements over a given time based on their policies and targets. Results from simulation models often ignite policy dialogues and support countries to make difficult, but important, policy decisions on where and how they should focus investments in education. Using a robust simulation model has become an integral part of education sector planning and is critical as countries plan to implement the SDG 4-Education 2030 agenda.

During the course of the recent eight-day workshop, eight senior education planners from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoYES) and the National Institute of Education (NIE) from Cambodia worked with UNESCO and UNESCO-IIEP to update the country’s education sector simulation model to integrate its commitments to achieving the SDG4-Education 2030 targets.

Participants in the workshop developed a new simulation model based on the existing model, CANPRO (Cambodia Analysis and Projection Model) and EPSSim (Education Policy and Strategy Simulation) 2016, an updated version of UNESCO’s simulation model which reflects the key SDG4 targets.

Cambodia is the only Asia-Pacific country to be pilot-testing the new UNESCO model and one of only two globally (along with Mozambique).

H.E. Mr Lim Sothea, Director-General of Policy and Planning, MoEYS, said the workshop was helpful as the country moves forward in its efforts to meet all seven targets of SDG 4.

The new model will help Cambodia improve our capacity to plan for implementation of the SDG4-Education 2030 agenda, and we are committed to building our national capacity to master the modeling techniques.

[1] UIS. 2016. The world needs almost 69 million new teachers to reach the 2030 education goals. UIS Fact Sheet. October 2016, No. 39.
[2] UNESCO. 2015. Pricing the right to education: The cost of reaching new targets by 2030. EFA GMR Policy Paper 18.