The objective of this Steering Committee meeting is to ensure the timely follow up to the 2020 Global Education Meeting (2020 GEM) as an integral part of overall acceleration for the advancement of the Education 2030 Agenda at the global, regional and country levels. The 2020 GEM made an urgent call to re-commit to education and priority actions, with a view to accelerating progress toward SDG 4 in the COVID-19 context and beyond. This meeting will discuss strategies and actions to take forward the commitments made in the 2020 GEM Declaration.
In particular, the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee is expected to lead and support the actions over the next 12 months to: assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on progress towards the achievement of the Education 2030 Agenda; examine strategies and identify priorities for recovery and the acceleration of progress; and propose relevant and realistic benchmarks of key SDG 4 indicators for subsequent monitoring.
The meeting will focus on five priority actions to accelerate progress towards SDG 4 in the COVID19 context and beyond, captured in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the 2020 GEM Declaration:
1. Protect education finance – in public expenditure, national recovery stimulus packages and development aid, with equity, inclusion and gender equality as the guiding principles.
2. Safe school reopening – and the restoration of access to essential services such as school meals, health, WASH, social protection etc.
3. Support of teachers and educational personnel – with emphasis on ensuring well-being, decent working conditions, inclusion in decision-making, as well as training and development opportunities to address a new educational reality.
4. Skills development - including social and emotional learning and well-being, skills for inclusive recovery, decent work and enhanced employability, and sustainable development.
5. Connectivity – to narrow the digital divide, develop quality open educational resources and build digital commons as a complement to face-to-face learning.
Nearly one year into the outbreak of the pandemic, this Steering Committee meeting will provide an opportunity to take stock of concrete actions and initiatives being undertaken in these critical areas of education response, but also to bridge the education sector’s COVID-19 response and recovery to the broader education goals and targets. Moreover, based on evidence and analysis provided by the UNESCO Institute for Statics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring Report (GEMR), the Steering Committee will deliberate on acceleration strategies at the global and regional levels. Finally, the meeting will also anticipate key milestones for education in 2021, such as the launch of the Working Group on the reform of the global education cooperation mechanism, the High-level Political Forum (HLPF), and the launch of the strengthened SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee.