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G20 Education Ministers' Communiqué

Videoconference, September 5, 2020
[pdf]

Preamble

  1. We, the G20 Ministers of Education, met virtually on September 5, 2020, to affirm the central role of education in enabling all people to realize the opportunities of the 21st century.
  2. As articulated in the G20 Education Ministers' Statement on COVID-19 of June 27, 2020, we support the individual and collective efforts to mitigate the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and acknowledge the importance of ensuring education continuity and safety for all in times of crises.
  3. Following the 2018 G20 Education Ministers' Declaration, we reaffirm that education is a human right and a basis for the realization of other rights, as well as "the foundation of personal development as it provides children, youth and adults with the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes necessary to reach their full potential".
  4. In line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
  5. We emphasize the vital role of education and skills training in addressing social, cultural, and economic challenges, and, therefore, further our commitment to encouraging international collaboration and the sharing of best practices to advance education systems across the globe. In this way, we will contribute to broader aims, including reducing poverty and inequality; promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth; advancing access to quality education for all, especially girls, and empowering women, youth and vulnerable groups.
  6. We highlight the importance of improving access to quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) as a foundation for the development of current and future generations and as a fundamental part of promoting equity and inclusion in education and encouraging lifelong learning.
  7. We recognize the value of fostering internationalization in education as a means of improving the quality of education at all levels and cultivating global citizens who are prepared for an increasingly interconnected world.

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Eduction Continuity in Times of Crisis

  1. We support the sharing of best practices and experiences as we explore approaches to building more resilient education systems. We encourage the development of policies and measures to prioritize the continuity of teaching and learning during and after the pandemic and the health and safety of the education community at large, students, teachers, educators, staff and parents, as appropriate in national, regional and local contexts.
  2. Werecognizethevalueofdistanceandblendedteachingandlearning and underscore the importance of enhancing access to high-quality education, professional development for educators, digital infrastructure and content, cybersecurity awareness, appropriate teaching methodologies and active learning, while recognizing that these approaches complement face-to-face learning. We stress the importance of research and data to assess the learning outcomes and quality of distance learning.

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Early Childhood Education (ECE)

  1. We acknowledge the fundamental role that equitable access to quality ECE plays in stimulating children's holistic development, which is the basis of their acquisition of literacy, numeracy, and social and emotional skills, to lay the foundation for future learning and well-being.
  2. We emphasize the importance of improving the accessibility and affordability of quality ECE for all children, especially those in vulnerable groups.
  3. We assert the importance of ECE that focuses on children's experiences, development and well-being and fosters positive interactions among ECE personnel, children, families and their communities.
  4. We also acknowledge the need to raise family and community awareness of the vital role of quality ECE that is delivered in accordance with children's developmental needs at each stage.
  5. We underscore the significance of building and retaining an appropriately qualified ECE workforce based on teachers, educators, staff and leaders of ECE institutions who have the knowledge, skills and competencies to work with young children, and on professional training to upskill and reskill them throughout their career.
  6. We highlight the value of a smooth transition from pre-primary settings to primary schools. Therefore, we encourage cooperation and collaboration across these educational levels, in accordance with country contexts, so that the benefits of quality ECE are realized and sustained.
  7. We recognize that leveraging digital technologies can increase children's access to quality ECE and enable families, teachers and educators to create developmentally-appropriate learning experiences for all children. We acknowledge the need to reduce the digital divide by providing the education community, including vulnerable groups, with the support and education necessary to enable effective interaction with technological devices. We also emphasize the importance of studying the effects of such exposure on young children's development, learning, and well-being to identify opportunities and mitigate potential risks.

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Internationalization in Education

  1. We emphasize the importance of international collaborations and partnerships in the field of education, especially in the context of global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. While respecting national and sub-national laws, rules and policies, we support the promotion of internationalization in education for all through student, teacher, researcher, and knowledge mobility; the provision of scholarships; the exchange of teachers, educators and staff; information-sharing for the facilitation of cross-border recognition of qualifications; the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT); and international research, knowledge production and technological development.
  2. We acknowledge the need for learning environments that enable students, teachers, and educators to collaborate and engage in our interconnected world. We encourage the integration of international and intercultural dimensions into all levels of general (K-12), higher and vocational education and training, where appropriate, to ensure effective learning outcomes.
  3. While considering the opportunities and challenges of digitalization, we recognize the significant role that ICT can play in enhancing internationalization in education by shaping new forms of teaching, learning, knowledge sharing and exchange within and among educational settings across the globe. To achieve that role, we will work to support access for the most vulnerable and to reduce the digital divide.
  4. We encourage the sharing of best practices in internationalization in education and the adaptation of such practices at the local, national, and international levels, as appropriate. We support advancing the discussion on internationalization at the K-12 level, and considering the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize the impact of internationalization at home (internationalization practices in a country) in broadening students' intercultural and global competencies and in providing equal learning opportunities and experiences for all.

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Way Forward

  1. We will continue to work on and support knowledge-sharing across G20 members in the areas of education continuity, early childhood education and internationalization in education so that we can all learn together and advance our education systems. We also agree to consider future collaboration and research to examine the impact of COVID-19 on education.
  2. We extend our gratitude to the Saudi G20 Presidency for its determined efforts and leadership. We also thank the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Bank Group (WBG) for their valuable contributions to our work.
  3. We will submit this Communique to the G20 Leaders' 2020 Summit and will continue our cooperation towards Italy's G20 Presidency in 2021 and thereafter.

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Source: Official website of the Saudi G20 Presidency


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