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G20 Education Ministers’ Declaration 2018

 

As a result of the major transformations that arise from globalization, digitalization and more complex and diverse societies, we need to develop education policies that equip our children, young people and adults for an uncertain and changing future.

How can we achieve a future where all citizens are fully involved and integrated? How can we ensure high-quality and inclusive education systems in such a dynamic and rapidly changing society? What skills and education policies are needed to foster an active citizenship that is committed to sustainable development? What measures ought to be taken to establish articulated mechanisms for the international financing of education?

With the aim of discussing these issues more deeply, the Argentine G20 presidency proposed the creation of the G20 Education Working Group (EdWG) within the Sherpa track.

In 2018, the EdWG held meetings in April, June and September, and hosted a ministerial meeting on 5 September, reaching the first ever Declaration of G20 Education Ministers.

 

G20 Education Ministers’ Declaration 2018

Building consensus for fair and sustainable development. Unleashing people’s potential.

Preamble

1. We, the Ministers of Education of the G20 members and invited countries, met in Mendoza, Argentina on 5 September 2018 to affirm the unique role of education as a key driver for sustainable development for all nations, recognise the need to place education at the centre of the global agenda and call for collective action.

2. In line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda, we affirm our commitment to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

3. Globalisation, technological progress and digitalisation are shaping the way people live, work, socialise, share knowledge and participate in increasingly complex, dynamic and diverse societies throughout the world. We recognise that while today's changing environment creates a wide range of social, economic and environmental global challenges, these trends also offer opportunities for wider access to information, economic growth, poverty reduction, greater innovation, higher productivity and a better quality of life for all.

4. In light of these challenges and opportunities, education represents a strategic policy area that has a profound impact on people, the planet and the prosperity of nations. Education is 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. Education helps to reduce poverty and promote active citizenship, therefore contributing to peaceful, inclusive and prosperous societies across the world.

5. We stress that access to quality education is a human right and the basis for the realisation of other rights. The transformative power and cross-cutting nature of education makes it an essential tool to address our global challenges and contribute to the G20’s pursuit of dialogue, consensus, cooperation, collaboration and coordinated policy goals and responses. AGREED

6. In Hamburg in 2017, G20 Leaders recognised the need to educate and train people with the necessary skills for the future of work, the importance of opportunities to re-and upskill throughout their working lives, and assist them to successfully adapt to change.

7. We appreciate and strongly support the Argentine Presidency's inclusion of education as a priority in the G20 agenda, congratulate the Presidency for the establishment of the Education Working Group, and are pleased to celebrate this first G20 Education Ministerial Meeting.

8. Considering the important and increasing intersection between education and employment policies consistent with a lifelong learning approach, we welcome the Presidency's proposal to jointly address the Future of Work as a shared priority to achieve fair and sustainable development. We recognise the complementarity between this Declaration and the G20 Education, Labour & Employment Ministers' Joint Declaration 2018.

Education and Skills Policies

9. It is important that education keeps pace with societal and technological innovations such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Internet of Things. We recognise that changes in the economy and labour markets have profound implications for education and training systems even though many of them remain unpredictable. Acknowledging the autonomy and diversity of national, regional and local governments and contexts, emerging knowledge and 21st century skills should be considered in curriculum development and pedagogical approaches at all levels of education. The curricula should be highly responsive to evidence-based practices, future employment trends, and design in collaboration with key stakeholders.

10. We highlight the vital role that teachers play in education. Teachers, along with education leaders and other education staff should be supported through innovative policies, including up-to-date initial and continuous professional development encompassing digital literacy and ICT skills, as well as opportunities to engage in professional learning communities and collaborative peer networks. Teachers should be equipped with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes free from gender stereotypes needed to help everyone develop to their full potential. Recruitment processes, working conditions and career pathways should be designed to attract and retain the most suitable and passionate individuals from a diversity of backgrounds into the teaching profession.

11. With the aim of actively engaging students in their education, we encourage the use of innovative pedagogies, approaches, methods and tools with appropriate diverse learning environments. Moreover, we highlight the importance of strengthening the interrelationship between education and the life of students by promoting relevant knowledge and skills that takes into account their social context and advances the development of their communities. We encourage the involvement of families and other members of the community.

12. We acknowledge the importance of promoting multiple and flexible pathways into lifelong education and training that enhance the linkage and transition between all educational levels, from early childhood education and care, to primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training as well as higher education and adult learning. Education should address the challenges that students face throughout these transitions with appropriate policy responses, effective planning and management, counselling and guidance, as well as pedagogical practices that integrate and articulate the knowledge and skills required across different stages of education including formal, informal and non-formal education.

13. We recognise the value of policies based on evidence and the importance of having robust and comprehensive learning assessment systems and data in order to measure progress and learning outcomes, to help ensure quality education for all at all stages of life. More broadly, assessments systems should provide quality input for decision making at every level highlighting the importance of interpretation and responsible use of results. We also acknowledge the important role of existing international assessments and research as tools to promote cooperation as well as the exchange of knowledge and promising practices with countries that have demonstrated successful educational outcomes and skills development policies.

14. We appreciate that the Argentine Presidency has placed gender equality and women's empowerment at the core of its agenda building on earlier G20 commitments. We welcome international efforts in this area, and recognise that notwithstanding the progress already achieved, gender inequalities and specific barriers to education for girls and women continue to persist. We share the view that equal access to inclusive, equitable and quality education within safe learning environments at all educational levels is essential to achieving the empowerment of girls and women. Furthermore, we encourage the high participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Financing Education

15. We recognise that the implementation of the above mentioned priorities and policies needs appropriate funding. Therefore, we acknowledge it is of vital importance that adequate levels of domestic and international investment in education are provided to achieve inclusive, equitable and quality education as well as lifelong learning opportunities for all.

16. Given that increased investments in education above certain thresholds do not necessarily entail better outcomes, we recognise the importance of allocating and spending resources more effectively and efficiently. Strengthening governance, management, monitoring and accountability is key to addressing this shared challenge. Increased social and economic returns on investment can have significantly positive impact on human development, and encourage greater commitments in this area.

17. Domestic and international education funding should prioritise resources in ways that improve the quality of learning outcomes, and increase equity, inclusion and support to vulnerable, disadvantaged and underrepresented groups. Furthermore, we affirm the importance of investing in high-quality, early education and acknowledge its positive multiplier effect on both the lifespan of individuals and social and economic development.

18. We acknowledge the role of existing and potential international mechanisms for financing education and encourage their complementarity to address different national needs, avoid fragmentation, and keep transaction costs low. This joint work encourages spaces for increased dialogue between different agents in the international architecture for financing education, including the private sector, social partners and civil society. Furthermore, we commend the endeavour of creating conditions for the emergence of innovative instruments for financing education in line with the 2030 Agenda.

International Cooperation

19. We commit to strengthening international cooperation and addressing common challenges together by learning from each other's experiences, sharing knowledge and best practices, and developing joint initiatives at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels while acknowledging individual countries’ unique challenges and priorities. We encourage the sharing of policies and programs for skills development through the Digital Repository of Policies, a platform developed by the Digital Economy Task Force.

20. We commit to facilitating the internationalisation of education, including the cross-border recognition of qualifications and skills, and the mobility of students, teachers, academic and non-academic staff, trainers and researchers, with a view to improving quality education and research, and in accordance with the respective national laws, rules and policies. We support the promotion of exchange and scholarships programmes among G20 members and other countries, in particular with developing countries around the globe.

21. Understanding and appreciating other parts of the world, different religions, cultures, languages and points of view are essential elements of global and cultural competence. Thus, we will continue to encourage high quality online communication, virtual exchanges, twinning and networking as well as sharing our common values among our education institutions.

Way Forward

22. We will work to meet our commitments affirmed in this Declaration and, taking into account national circumstances, endorse the Policy Recommendations for Education and Skills (Annex 1), with a view to building a robust set of education and skills policies from a global perspective that fosters inclusive and sustainable human progress in every nation.

23. We thank the Argentine Presidency for its determined efforts and leadership. We are also thankful for the expertise provided by international organisations including UNESCO, OECD, World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank for the support given during this process, including their reports on key issues.

24. We will submit this Declaration to the G20 Leaders’ 2018 Summit and continue our cooperation towards Japan's G20 Presidency in 2019 and the years after that.

Annex 1

Policy Options for Education and Skills

Mendoza, 5 September 2018

In order to support the implementation of existing initiatives and strengthen policies that foster education and skills development, and taking into account national circumstances, we agree to endorse a set of policy options.

Curriculum

  • Promote the development of curricula which are relevant and high-quality, and which have a strong focus on disciplinary and multi-disciplinary knowledge, core competencies and skills, learning by doing, values and attitudes.
  • Promote quality education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) through a comprehensive and gender and age sensitive approach that reflects their cross-cutting nature and highlights their relevance in real-world applications.
  • Foster the integration of digital literacy, Information and Communication Technology, computing and coding skills within the curriculum, where appropriate.
  • Foster the inclusion of non-cognitive skills such as socio-emotional skills across the curriculum.
  • Formulate clear learning standards, coupled with measures to support students with lower achievement levels and progress.
  • Provide education that supports better integration of common values like freedom, tolerance, empathy, non-discrimination, human rights, a culture of peace and non-violence and sustainable development in the curriculum.
  • Promote the development and use of open learning materials, including textbooks that facilitate improved access to learning and quality education.
  • Integrate leadership, management and entrepreneurial skills across the curriculum.
  • Support the learning of foreign languages in school.

Teacher Education and Training

  • Invest in teacher education through initial professional preparation of teachers and their continuous professional development, as well as satisfying working conditions that improve the quality, attractiveness and status of the teaching profession.
  • Provide multiple diverse and attractive career paths that also take into account teachers’ experiences and initiatives to support the holistic development of their students.
  • Combine theoretical training with practical teaching skills and training in didactics and pedagogies to guarantee that teachers are equipped with all the required skills for their job.
  • Educate and train teachers and provide them with support of experts on how to work with every student, especially those who have different needs and learning abilities.
  • Continue to encourage teachers and educational institutions to create learning environments that actively engage students in the exploration of their own learning processes.
  • Promote opportunities for teachers to become self-directed continuous learners while under formative supervision.
  • Encourage teachers to engage with their school community in order to create learning environments that are culturally and socially responsive to, and appropriate for, students.
  • Foster dialogue and engagement between government, stakeholders and teachers’ professional associations and representative bodies to successfully implement education policies.
  • Ensure that teacher allocation and deployment meet educational needs as efficiently and equitably as possible.

Learning Strategies

  • Encourage interdisciplinary learning and the opportunity for work-integrated learning experiences, as well as actively foster a culture that nurtures design thinking and creativity in all students.
  • Promote teaching flexibility within classrooms and educational spaces, whether physical or virtual, so that teachers can engage students in creative and varied approaches to learning and problem solving.
  • Introduce and maintain appropriate technological infrastructure at schools, both in urban and non-urban areas, accompanied by suitable pedagogical strategies for all students and teachers to ensure equal opportunities for acquiring the learning and use of digital skills.
  • Strengthening the use of digital and e-learning technologies, online platforms and methods to close the digital gender divide.
  • Whenever appropriate, update content and teaching methods through evidence-based, research and assessment practices.

Educational Transitions

  • Support students’ transitions throughout educational stages with informative, well-targeted counselling and guidance, especially for those from underprivileged backgrounds.
  • Establish comprehensive qualification frameworks that support a better understanding of the knowledge and skills acquired by students at every level of education.
  • Take into account the social and economic context of learners and their families to address critical issues and improve quality in education.
  • Involve parents in basic education through participation in school activities to foster their contribution to children’s skills development, more harmonious learning environments, and smooth transitions between educational pathways.
  • Work with relevant stakeholders to generate information that will foster better informed and guided decisions on educational choices and pathways for students.
  • Promote education with strong connections to industry, the working community and other stakeholders to facilitate the transition from school to work.
  • Encourage cooperation with ministries of labour and employment to generate comprehensive skills policies that prepare citizens for future market needs.
  • Support relevant second-chance education pathways including the recognition of informal education.

Gender

  • Expand opportunities for girls to access a minimum of 12 years of quality education.
  • Enable girls to access all levels of education, including through targeted plans to ensure that barriers, especially those faced by adolescent girls, are addressed.
  • Adopt measures to prevent all forms of violence, harassment and discrimination on the basis of any kind of diversity. Adopt measures to fight stereotypes in education and society.
  • Encourage women to pursue and continue tertiary studies and qualified work placements, including through apprenticeships and scholarships, particularly for advanced technologies and subjects that are driving the digital transformation, such as STEM.
  • Provide support to teenage parents in order to encourage their continuation of secondary schooling and/or tertiary education.

Vulnerable Groups

  • Strengthen inclusive education systems by coordinating efforts and collaborating with relevant national and international civil society partners.
  • Encourage close cooperation between schools and communities and include the experience of NGO’s when developing policies that address the increasing diversity in society.
  • Improve foundation skills such as numeracy and literacy, especially for those experiencing skills gaps, as these are essential for acquiring other skills and achieving social mobility.
  • Remove barriers for vulnerable groups including those with special needs and disabilities, as well as adults in need of training and re-training, by designing flexible and specific learning pathways that support differentiated learning strategies and address their capacities and special educational needs.
  • Expand high quality online learning to improve access to education for underrepresented groups, in particular to improve education opportunities for people in rural and remote areas.
  • Create and adjust educational infrastructure to meet the needs of all students, particularly those with disabilities.
  • Work with learning assessment systems that include disaggregated data to enable a specific focus on progress in expanding educational opportunities for vulnerable and underrepresented groups.

Financing Education

  • Promote efficient investment for key policy areas such as high quality teacher professional development and early childhood education, with a particular focus on supporting students at risk of falling behind or dropping out school.
  • Build effective and efficient domestic and international policy as well as regulatory and funding frameworks to achieve quality educational outcomes for all citizens.
  • Focus on planning, implementation, and the use of robust evidence and data to improve budget transparency, efficiency and decision making.
  • Encourage investment in education from a range of sources, including government, private, and civil society organizations.
  • Encourage the private sector and philanthropic organizations to ensure coordination, harmonization, transparency and alignment with national priorities.

International Cooperation

  • Foster G20 initiatives involving relevant education stakeholders, particularly universities and research institutes, through the sharing and transfer of knowledge and research results on specific themes of common interest, to strengthen the links between the G20 and the educational community.
  • Promote, as appropriate, the recognition of qualifications in order to support student, academic and researcher mobility.
  • Explore potential options for cross-border recognition of qualifications in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector, in accordance with the respective national laws, rules and policies, including recognition of informal skills.
  • Support collaborative research for generating and expanding the knowledge base on areas of common interests and educational challenges through international cooperation and information exchange.
  • Foster exchange programmes, scholarships and other international learning opportunities, for students, teachers, trainers and researchers of G20 and other countries.
  • Promote outreach activities among the educational community that promote students’ involvement in issues relating to international affairs through first-hand experiences including G20 simulation models and activities.
  • Support initiatives aiming at ensuring that school-aged displaced children do not lose access to educational facilities.
  • Share best practices on the above mentioned topics through online platforms, seminars and courses.

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