International Review of Education

, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 481–497 | Cite as

Revisioning Education for All in the age of migration: Global challenges and opportunities for lifelong learning

  • Shibao Guo


This paper revisits and revisions Education for All (EFA) in the age of global migration with the aim of developing more inclusive approaches towards social justice and equity in education. Drawing on cases of internal and international migration in China and Canada, this paper compares and contrasts policies and practices in the education of migrants and their children to discern common issues and challenges in both country contexts. The findings reveal that despite China’s nine-year compulsory education law for all school-aged children, migrant children are often deprived of equitable learning opportunities, resulting in their being the most educationally marginalised in China. The case of Canada demonstrates some of the challenges facing immigrants in having their prior learning and work experience recognised. Lessons learned from this comparative analysis have important implications for the post-2015 EFA revisioning process in terms of developing a holistic, inclusive lifelong learning framework which ensures that the learning needs of both young and adult learners are met through access to equitable learning opportunities as well as recognition of their prior learning and experience.


Lifelong learning Education for All Social justice Migrants Immigrants China Canada Recognition of prior learning Access to education 


Reconsidérer l’Éducation pour tous à une époque de migration : opportunités et défis mondiaux pour l’apprentissage tout au long de la vie – L’auteur de cet article réexamine et reconsidère l’Éducation pour tous (EPT) dans le contexte actuel de migrations mondiales, en vue d’élaborer des approches plus inclusives favorables à la justice sociale et à l’équité devant l’éducation. À partir des exemples de migrations internes et internationales que connaissent la Chine et le Canada, il compare et oppose les politiques et les pratiques appliquées dans l’éducation des migrants et de leurs enfants, pour en dégager les problématiques et défis communs aux deux contextes nationaux. Ses conclusions signalent qu’en dépit de la législation chinoise qui prescrit neuf ans d’éducation obligatoire pour tous les enfants scolarisables, les enfants de migrants sont souvent privés d’opportunités éducatives équitables, d’où leur situation de groupe le plus exclu de l’éducation dans le pays. L’exemple du Canada illustre plusieurs défis auxquels sont confrontés les immigrants dans la reconnaissance de leurs apprentissages antérieurs et expériences professionnelles. Les enseignements de cette analyse comparative ont d’importantes implications pour une nouvelle conception de l’EPT après 2015 en vue de l’élaboration d’un cadre global et inclusif d’apprentissage tout au long de la vie. Ce dernier doit garantir une réponse aux besoins éducatifs tant des jeunes que des adultes, par l’accès à des opportunités éducatives équitables et par la reconnaissance de leurs expériences et apprentissages antérieurs.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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