New Delhi: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will hold a session on Global Education Meeting (GEM) next month for exchange among political leaders, policymakers and global education experts to safeguard and rethink education in the present and post-COVID-19 world.
The session will be held on October 22 with an objective to protect and promote education at a time when education financing is at considerable risk of being left behind in the governments’ domestic budgets, stimulus packages and international aid, the UN agency said, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director of Education at UNESCO, said, “By convening this extraordinary session of the GEM next month, our aim is to secure commitments from political leaders to position education at the centre of national and international efforts to recover swiftly, inclusively.”
“To be fit for purpose and respond to a radically new reality, we need a more integrated, influential, and accountable coordination system for education, entirely geared to building back better through stronger links between policy steering and finance. It is precisely in this spirit that the 2020 GEM will also launch an inclusive consultation on a roadmap for the improvement of the global SDG 4 – Education 2030 coordination mechanism,” she added.
The themes for the session are protecting domestic and international financing of education, reopening schools safely, focusing on inclusion, equity, and gender equality, reimagining teaching, and learning, harnessing equitable connectivity and technologies for learning.
“Behind the 2020 GEM is the resolve to speak with one voice, against the backdrop of unprecedented disruption that requires us, as a global community, to be disruptive in how we act. The GEM is driven by this sense of urgency – it pulls the alarm on the dramatic consequence that any decline in aid and national budgets will have on an already deep education crisis,” Giannini said.
Over 154 crore students are affected after educational institutions across the globe closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, as per UNESCO estimates.