“I consider myself a lifelong student… Without education, where would I be? Where would any of us be? “, he asked the people gathered in the iconic Generally Hall.
Because education transforms lives, economies and societies, “we must transform education”.
Spiral going down
Instead of being a great issuer, the head of the United Nations pointed out that education is quickly becoming “a big divider”noting that about 70% of 10-year-olds in poor countries cannot read and “barely learn”.
With access to the best resources, schools and universities, the rich get the best jobs, while the poor – especially girls – displaced people and students with disabilities , had major obstacles in obtaining a life-changing degree, he continued.
Mr. Guterres added: “But the education crisis began long before that – and is much deeper,” citing the International Commission’s report on the Future of Education, which states: “The education system doesn’t make grades.”
Relying on outdated and limited curricula, under-trained and paid teachers, and rote learning, he said.Education is failing students and society“.
At the same time, the digital divide will penalize poor students like Education financing gap “wider than ever”.
“Now is the time to transform the education system,” stressed the head of the United Nations.
21st century vision
With the new educational vision of the 21st century taking shape, he marked that Quality learning must support the individual learner’s development throughout his or her life.
“It should help people learn how to learn, focus on problem solving and collaboration…providing a foundation for learning, from reading, writing and math to science, digital, social and emotions… develop students’ capacity to adapt to the rapidly changing world of work…[and] accessible to all from the earliest stages and throughout their lives”.
At a time of rampant misinformation, climate denial and attacks on human rights, Mr. Guterres stressed the need for educational systems that “distinguish fact from conspiracy, respect science.” and celebrate humanity in all its diversity”.
From vision to reality
To make the vision a reality, he highlighted five areas of commitment starting with protecting the right to quality education for everyone, everywhere – especially girls and children in hot spots. about the crisis.
Stressing that schools must be open to all, without discrimination, he urged the Taliban in Afghanistan: “Remove all restrictions on girls’ access to secondary education now instantly”.
As “the lifeblood of the education system”, Mr. Guterres next called for a new focus on teachers’ roles and skill sets to facilitate and promote learning instead of just conveying the answer.
Third, he advocates for schools to be “safe, healthy spaces, free of violence, discrimination or intimidation.”
To achieve the fourth goal, the digital revolution that benefits all learners, he encouraged governments to work with private sector partners to promote digital learning content. .
“None of this would be possible without increased funding for education and global solidarity,” the UN chief said.
He called on countries to protect education budgets and shift education spending into learning resources.
“Funding for education should be the number one priority of Governments. This is the most important investment any country can make in its people and future,” stressed the Secretary-General. “Policy spending and advice must be aligned with providing quality education for all.”
Concluding, he stated that the Transformational Education Summit would only achieve its global goals by mobilizing “a global movement”.
“Let’s move forward together, so that everyone can learn, grow and dream throughout their lives. Let’s ensure that learners today and future generations have access to the education they need, to create a more sustainable, inclusive, equitable and peaceful world for all.”
War, disease, economic development
Catherine Russell, head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) drew attention to the effects of war on children’s education, calling on governments to “scale up support to help every child learn, wherever they are”.
Winnie ByanyimaCEO of UNAIDShighlight the devastating impact of HIV on adolescent girls and young women in Africa, informing participants that In sub-Saharan Africa last year, 4,000 girls were infected every week.
“This is a crisis!” she speaks. “Because when a girl gets infected at that early age, there’s no cure for HIV, that marks the rest of their lives, their chance.”
She told the summit 12 African countries have now committed Education Plusa bold initiative to prevent HIV transmission through free, quality secondary education for all girls and boys in Africa, reinforced through exchange programmes. comprehensive rights.
Audrey Azoulay, leader of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reminds that “there can be no economic development and no peace without education,” and emphasizes that Afghan girls must be able to go back to school. “It’s their right,” she insists. See here provide her address here.
Other prominent speakers include United Nations Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai, who has called on world leaders to create safe schools for girls and protect every child’s right to education. that “if you are serious about creating a safe and sustainable future for children, then be serious about education”.
Somaya Faruqi, former Captain of the Afghan Women’s Robotics Team asserts that every girl has the right to learn, asserting that “while our cousins sat in the classroom, me and many other girls were forced to put it aside. my dream. Every girl belongs to the school“.
The newly announced UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Vanessa Nakate, stressed the need for all children to have access to education, as “their future depends on it”. See her address here.
Another highlight was a stirring musical performance by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo, who encouraged people to speak out for transforming education.
130 countries pledge to restart education
Later in the afternoon, it was announced that more than 130 countries attended the summit, committed to restarting their education systems and accelerate action to end the learning crisis
The commitments came after 115 national consultations, bringing together leaders, teachers, students, civil society and other partners to gather collective recommendations on pressing requirements. best.
Almost half of the countries priority measures to address school lossTwo out of three countries also refer to measures to offset direct and indirect education costs for economically vulnerable communities, and 75% of countries emphasize the importance of education policies. gender sensitive in their commitments.
These statements highlight the role of education in achieving all the SDGs and their link to the climate crises, conflict and poverty. Measures address the COVID-19 recovery and stay on track for the SDGs, while highlighting the need for innovation in education to prepare today’s learners for a rapidly changing world.