Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son has highlighted the need to ensure fairness in access to quality education, integration and equality at all school levels in the next period.
Addressing the Transformation Education Summit in New York on September 19, the first day of the High-Level Week of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Son said following two years of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the education sector needs to equip today and future generations with knowledge and skills to overcome challenges facing the world, thus contributing to fulfilling all UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Teaching methods and curricula may change, but the key is to help students with personal orientations, thus building a solid foundation with fundamental values throughout their lives, he said.
At the event, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stressed the need to protect the right to quality education for everyone, especially girls, everywhere; and to give a new focus on teachers’ roles and skillsets. Schools must become safe, healthy spaces, with no place for violence, stigma or intimidation.
The digital revolution must benefit all learners, he said, adding that none of the above will be possible without a surge in education financing and global solidarity.
He said development partners should reverse cuts and dedicate at least 15% of official development assistance to education. International financial institutions should make resources and fiscal space available for developing countries to invest, he said.
Guterres urged international financial institutions to draw on the newly-launched International Finance Facility for Education, a new tool that aims to mobilise US$10 billion to help 700 million children in lower-middle-income countries to access quality education.
According to the UN data, some 70% of 10-year-olds in poor countries are unable to read a basic text. Either they are out of school, or in school but barely learning.
The summit was chaired by the UN Secretary General on September 16, 17 and 19.