The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is hosting the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in 2020. Education Ministers of G 20 nations have resolved to work together and share best practices in the area of education so that member countries can ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, even in times of crises. A virtual meeting of G20 Education Ministers was held yesterday to discuss and share experiences of member countries in the three identified areas of Education Continuity in Times of Crises, Early Childhood Education and Internationalisation in Education.
Yesterday’s meeting was the culmination of ongoing discussions on these themes, conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representing India, Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that “these themes are also priority areas that the Government of India has been pursuing. India’s commitment for these themes is reflected in the new National Education Policy 2020 that seeks to bring in transformational changes in the education landscape of the country”.
He further added “India will continue the efforts it has taken to reform and transform its education system and mitigate the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, India is committed to collaborating with G 20 member countries in the area of education”.
Regarding ensuring education continuity in times of crises, the communique recognises the value of distance and blended teaching and learning and underscore the importance of enhancing access to high-quality education, professional development for educators, digital infrastructure and content, cybersecurity awareness, appropriate teaching methodologies and active learning, while recognising that these approaches complement face-to-face learning. The importance of research and data to assess the learning outcomes and quality of distance learning has also been stressed.
On the importance of Early Childhood Education (ECE) the communique emphasises the importance of improving the accessibility and affordability of quality ECE for all children, especially those in vulnerable groups. It also stresses on the need to raise family and community awareness of the vital role of quality ECE that is delivered following children’s developmental needs at each stage.
The communique expresses the resolve to encourage internationalisation in education by sharing of best practices in education and the adaptation of such practices at the local, national, and international levels, as appropriate. It also supports advancing the discussion on internationalisation at the K-12 level. The communique emphasises the impact of internationalisation practices in a country in broadening students’ intercultural and global competencies and in providing equal learning opportunities and experiences for all.