United Nations, September 20 (IPS) – Refugee youth campaigner, Mary Maker, has called on UN member states to honor their commitments to transform education from the foundation to the top, starting with people living in bad and miserable circumstances.
Maker, a South Sudanese refugee who fled his country and found hope while attending a school in the Kukuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, chaired a session called “Education in the Crisis Situations – Collaborating for Transformational Actions for Learners” on the last day of the Transformative Education Summit (TES).
The session focused on education and learning during the crises and forced displacement that are often the result of these situations.
“I’m really excited about this class because this is my story. This is the story of so many other refugees,” said Maker, who also supports UNHCR. “And as we’ve been chatting over the past few days, I hope that this Call to Action really becomes something that we can work on after this session.”
She spoke of the importance of the session, “given the increased mobility around the world and the need for a collective effort to transform the delivery and funding of quality education.”
Member States reaffirmed their commitment to transforming education on the third and final day of the Education Transformation Summit. TES Leaders Day, September 19, is the day dedicated to the Heads of State and Government to present the Country on their Commitment to the Summit Goals during the Summits. Round for Leaders. At the same time, symposiums were held with the aim of setting cross-cutting priorities for education transformation and reaffirming commitments and action plans from a wide range of stakeholders, including governments. the world, United Nations partners and civil society organizations.
The panel produced “Education in Crisis: A Call to Action”, which committed to transforming education systems so that they can prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from crises and that all Crisis-affected children have access to continuity, inclusion, and safe learning opportunities. The Call to Action asks countries, multilateral organisations, civil society groups and education partners to work towards agreement by improving access to education and learning outcomes. equality and inclusion; protect and improve external financing; work together to build a resilient education system in the spirit of international cooperation; to scale and integrate evidence-based and high-impact interventions into policy and programmatic efforts.
“This commitment to action is the result of extensive consultation with more than 45 crisis-affected countries from five continents, more than 100 civil society organisations, as well as other stakeholders, including including youth,” said Estefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO.
UN agencies, represented by their leaders, emphasize the urgency of education in crisis.
Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner of UNHCR, spoke about the impact of dual crises, such as climate change, hunger and armed conflict.
“On top of all the fundamental aspects of the crisis, the force of the crisis, you are forced to relocate,” he said. “People fled or were forced to leave their homes because of the fighting. They were forced to flee their homes because of hunger, and now they are increasingly obliged to leave their homes because of climate change. More importantly, all of these factors are interconnected.”
He added, “And all the faces of this crisis are factors for vulnerability… Challenges, or crises as we should see, challenges education.”
Due to ongoing crises, climate-induced disasters and forced displacement, 222 million children and young people have experienced disruption to their education, affecting access to or their continuous learning.
Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Can’t Wait (ECW), said: “We have reached a history – a sad history – the number of peoples being forced to relocate, the highest number since World War II,” said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW).
“Despite this great challenge, we must achieve all of these and we must ensure that they have a learning base,” said Catherine Russell, Executive Director of UNICEF.
Complaining directly to heads of state and government, Russell asked them to prioritize education, especially access to education in times of crisis. “We need your help to provide domestic and humanitarian funds for education. We need your help to prevent or stop attacks on education. We need your commitment to building resilient education systems so they can withstand future shocks that we know are imminent. And we need your commitment to protect the education of the most vulnerable children.”
Member States represented in the session, including Qatar, Ecuador, South Sudan, Pakistan, Norway, Switzerland, the European Commission and the State of Palestine, affirmed their support for the Commitment to Action and Sharing of Practices. countries to improve access to education.
“We know that education systems must be resilient enough to prevent, prepare for, repel, and recover from armed conflict. Our call to action hopes to do just that,” said Virginia Gamba, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, as she concluded the session.
“The alignment between national priorities and international commitments is critical to making the education system more resilient and able to ensure the protection of children and their rights, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
This spirit of international cooperation among many stakeholders will indeed be crucial to transforming education at the fundamental level. In the global conversation, this will be revisited with the ECW Finance Summit, scheduled for 16 and 17 February 2023. The conference will take place in Geneva, with the partners. convened South Sudan, Niger, Germany and Norway.
Report of the United Nations Office IPS
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