The COVID-19 pandemic and other man-made crises have had a devastating impact on the right of children and young people to education. This in turn has dramatic implications on peace, social well-being and future prosperity.
This was said by Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education (MoE) as Secretary General, the Brunei Darussalam National Commission for UNESCO, Co-Chairperson and Lead Facilitator Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati binti Haji Tajuddin of the Stakeholder Engagement National Consultation for Transforming Education Summit 2022 at Ruang, Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex.
The summit was organised by the MoE in preparation for the Transforming Education Summit in September 2022 in New York, United States, and was attended by 90 participants comprising stakeholders from government agencies, private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), students, youth and members of society associations.
Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati said, “The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is the main policy making organ for the United Nations (UN).
“It provides a platform for multilateral discussions on international issues with all 193 state members including Brunei Darussalam.
“This year, the UN Secretary General is convening a summit in its efforts to mobilise political ambition, action, solutions and solidarity in transforming education.”
According to the UN, the urgency of transforming education has become increasingly evident in the wake of COVID-19 disruptions, which has exacerbated inequities in global education.
Recognising that education is considered a fundamental commodity required for global sustainable development, the aim of the consultation session is to engage stakeholders in the exchange of ideas and knowledge to renew global commitment to education as a public good, and the why, how and what of educational transformation that can shape the future.
During the session, the stakeholders discussed five themed action tracks – inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools; learning and skills for life, work and sustainable development; teachers, teaching and the teaching profession; digital learning and transformation; and financing of education.
The themed action tracks are areas that require attention and action that can accelerate progress on education and the 2030 Agenda.
The consultation was also organised around four components – ensuring full recovery from COVID-19 educational disruption; identifying main strategic transformations and levers for reimagining education for the 21st century; ensuring strengthened and more sustainable public financing of education and raising the ambition of national education targets and benchmark.
In addition, the discussion also sought to mobilise stakeholders’ ambition, action, solutions and solidarity with a whole-of-nation approach to deliver on existing commitments to ensure quality education and lifelong learning is accessible to all with support for teachers. The session ended with closing remarks from Deputy Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the MoE Dr Chin Wei Keh as co-lead facilitator of the consultation session.