Activist countries

Over 130 countries respond to call to restart education systems at UN Summit – Manila Bulletin

More than 130 countries pledged to restart their education systems and accelerate action to end the learning crisis at the United Nations Transforming Education Summit on Tuesday, September 20.

The United Nations Education Transformation Summit aims to discuss the education crisis where 147 million students are missing more than half of their in-person instruction since 2020.

He noted that at least 244 million children and young people were out of school in 2021.

“The pandemic has harmed the learning of more than 90% of the world’s children – the biggest disruption in history – with half of all countries slashing their education budgets, further deepening the crisis,” said the UN.

Today, an estimated 64.3% of children worldwide are unable to read and understand a simple story. She recalls that one in three people will be unable to understand this same text in a few years, while 840 million young people will leave school in adolescence without qualifications for the world of work of tomorrow.

The UN also noted that only less than half of countries have strategies to help children catch up.

“If this doesn’t happen, these students stand to lose $10 trillion in income over their working lives,” he said.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also warned that unequal education was “fast becoming the divisive factor”. “Instead of being the great enabler, education is quickly becoming the great divider,” said António Guterres.

“The rich have access to the best resources, schools and universities, leading to the best jobs while the poor – especially girls – face huge hurdles in obtaining the qualifications that could change their lives,” he said. declared.

Almost half of countries prioritized measures to address learning loss, while a third of countries committed to supporting the psychosocial well-being of students and teachers.

Two out of three countries referred to measures to offset the direct and indirect costs of education for economically vulnerable communities, he said.

At least 75% of countries highlighted the importance of gender-responsive education policies in their commitments.

António Guterres and UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown also announced the launch of the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd).

IFFEd, in partnership with the governments of Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Asian and African Development Bank, will provide an initial $2 billion in additional affordable funding for the programs of education to be disbursed from 2023.

It could also unlock an additional $10 billion in additional funding for education and skills by 2030.

In addition, UNESCO and UNICEF have also launched Gateways to Public Digital Learning, a global multi-partner initiative to create and strengthen inclusive digital learning platforms and content.

A commitment to action on education in crises was also revealed “as a commitment by Member States and partners to transform education systems to better prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from crises”.

Youth advocates also shared a youth statement that sets out their collective recommendations to policy makers on the transformation they want to see during the three-day summit.

The Youth Declaration is “the culmination of a months-long process of consultations, reflecting the contributions of almost half a million young people”.

The Secretary-General said that if there was a seed to prevent climate change, violent conflict or poverty, it was education.

António Guterres also received an open call for leaders to extend the right to free education for all children.

The call was facilitated by Avaaz and supported by United Nations Messenger of Peace and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and climate activist Vanessa Nakate, and advocates for human rights.

“We must move forward together, focusing on concrete actions where it matters most: on the ground, in the classroom and in the experience of teachers and learners,” said António Guterres in his vision statement.

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