Global challenges expose the inadequacy of current education models, says UN Philippines chief
09 August 2022
Mr. Gustavo Gonzalez cited climate change, inequalities, the changing nature of work, as some of the foremost challenges requiring education transformation
On 8 August 2022, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez convened a meeting of development partners to report on the Transforming Education Summit (TES) and related processes being undertaken in the Philippines. The TES is a global summit being convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to elevate education to the top of the global political agenda and to maximize public awareness and engagement.
The meeting was participated in by the embassies of the Argentine Republic, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, the U.K., the Czech Republic, the EU, France, Finland, Germany, Israel, Lao PDR, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey, among others. The World Bank was also represented in the meeting, along with UNICEF representative Oyun Dendevnorov.
Gonzalez said that amid global challenges, including climate change, inequalities, the changing nature of work, and the prevalence of violence, it has become clear that prevailing education models are inadequate to equip young people to participate in finding solutions and to contribute to building a better future.
Gonzalez reviewed the TES processes that have been undertaken in the Philippines in preparation for the global summit in September 2022, including three national consultations, to be followed by the submission of the Philippines' statement of commitment on 15 August.
Gonzalez outlined the following five priority actions from the perspective of the UN:
Reopen all pre-schools, schools and learning centers as soon as possible with 5 days a week of in-person classes.
Conduct rapid literacy and numeracy assessments nationwide and launch an emergency learning recovery plan targeting foundational and socioemotional skills.
Elevate the value of the teaching profession with corresponding investments in increasing compensation, training, benefits, protection, career advancement, and reduction of non-teaching activities.
Launch a digital learning national program to provide connectivity to all schools by 2030, devices with learning apps to all students in last-mile schools and rural areas, and digital teaching trainings.
Increase budget allocation in the education system to implement the Basic Education Development Plan 2030 and commitments to the Transforming Education Summit, including reaching 6 percent of GDP by 2030 (with yearly increases of 0.5 percentage points); at least 20 percent of the national budget; and increase special education funds share to at least 2 percent for municipalities.