Quality education an ‘essential pillar’ of a better future, says UN chief

© UNESCO/Christelle Alix Secretary-General António Guterres delivers remarks at the 40th General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, France.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Education is an “essential pillar” to achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN chief António Guterres told an audience on Tuesday at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization, ahead of the agency’s General Conference.

Mr. Guterres, who noted that one-fifth of young people are out of work, lack education or adequate training, praised UNESCO’s fundamental role in coordinating and monitoring global efforts, such as the agency’s initiative on the future of education.

The theme was taken up by Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the UN General Assembly, in his opening remarks to a ministerial meeting on education at the Conference.

Mr. Muhammad-Bande referred to estimates showing that some 265 million children are out of school. The number is projected to fall to 220 million over the next decade, but he declared that the illiteracy figures forecast for 2030 remain a scandal: “We must remove all barriers to education. We must ensure, at a minimum, universal access to basic education for every child, everywhere.”

He also highlighted the importance of educating children effectively, and equipping them with the necessary analytical and critical thinking abilities, in “an ever-changing and more complex world”.

Recalling his former experience as an educator in his home country of Nigeria, Mr. Muhammad-Bande called for more efforts to ensure that teachers are adequately qualified, because “no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers”.

Other important measures cited by the General Assembly President include strong curricula that fully integrate Information and Communications Technology (ICT); ensuring that girls complete at least 12 years of education (which, according to the World Bank, would add some $30 trillion to the global economy); and the effective monitoring and evaluation of learning.

Mr. Muhammad-Bande called on nations to meet their commitments to education spending, and for donor countries to increase international aid directed towards education.

‘Powerful agents of change’

As well as the difficulties in accessing quality education, Mr. Guterres also outlined several other challenges faced by young people: the fact that millions of girls become mothers while they are still children; that one quarter are affected by violence or conflict; and that online bullying and harassment are adding to high levels of stress, which see some 67,000 adolescents die from suicide or self-harm every year.

World leaders, and others who wield power, he continued, must treat young people not as subjects to be protected, but as powerful agents for change, and the role of the powerful is not to solve the enormous challenges faced by young people, but rather to give them the tools to tackle their problems.

Mr Guterres underscored the importance of bringing young people to the table as key partners, and praised UNESCO’s efforts to include their voices, which include holding a major event at the General Conference, and the Youth Forum.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘Amid stormy global seas, UN charter remains our moral anchor’, says Guterres on United Nations Day

The rise of techno-nationalism – and the paradox at its core

Crisis hit countries cut down public spending on education

Sudan: Health challenges in the Sustainable Development Goals era

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

Friday’s Daily Brief: hunger in North Korea, human rights in Iran, updates on DR Congo and Benin

Denouncing attacks against Baghdad protesters, UN warns ‘violence risks placing Iraq on dangerous trajectory’

JADE Team at the European Business Summit 2017

Why European manufacturing SMEs in the South face fatal dangers

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

JADE Romania Celebrates the 4th Anniversary

Mexico: Helping refugees go into business, a ‘win-win situation’, says UNHCR’s Grandi

How the EU crisis hit countries saved the German and French mega-banks from bankruptcy and still pay the costs

EU labour mobility: Inconvenient truths for everybody

MEPs approve boost to workers’ rights in the gig economy

Could implants treat people with brain disease? A young scientist explains

Australia wants to build a giant underground ‘battery’ to help power the nation

10 of Albert Einstein’s best quotes

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

Monday’s Daily Brief: drug-resistant diseases, Venezuelan refugees, fighting in Tripoli, and hate speech

Alarm over violent attacks on lawmakers, opposition in Malawi, ahead of elections

Mirrored classroom display highlights scale of massive education crisis

Love unlimited

Public Health equality in a trench

On Human Rights Day European Youth Forum calls for end to discrimination of young people

Asking for more restriction on intra EU immigration: Unproductive and politically dangerous

A Valentine’s Special: heart has nothing to do with it, it’s all Brain

Swedish PM Löfven: “Our common values must guide us to an even better future”

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Thai cave boys spared thundershowers, highlighting extreme climate disruption: UN weather agency

Around 52 million in Near East, North Africa, suffering chronic undernourishment, new UN food agency report reveals

Four ways Artificial Intelligence can make healthcare more efficient and affordable

This wall of shoes is for the women killed by domestic violence

‘Terror and panic’ among Rohingya who may be forced to return to Myanmar – UN rights chief

OECD welcomes French plans to increase and better target foreign aid

What is digital equality? An interview with Nanjira Sambuli

Waste-free consumption: 3 reasons why cities will lead

Easing US-China trade tensions could save millions of jobs: Asia-Pacific UN report

This is the state of the world’s health, in numbers

Rising human trafficking takes on ‘horrific dimensions’: almost a third of victims are children

We must treat cybersecurity as a public good. Here’s why

Why and how Germany had it again its own way in Cyprus

This is what CEOs around the world see as the biggest risks to business

The EU responds to US challenges by fining Apple with €13 billion

An FTA between EU-US to hurt South Korea

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: European Youth, Change Now Patiently

The Venezuelan exodus to Roraima and its repercussions

Improvements to pension systems have made them better placed to deliver pensions

Afghanistan probe: ‘at least 60 civilians’ killed after US military airstrikes on alleged drug labs

Agreement reached on digital copyright rules

Labels for tyres: deal for greener and safer road transport

How universities can become a platform for social change

EU-US Privacy Shield data exchange deal: US must comply by 1 September, say MEPs

The Next Web 2014, the biggest European conference on Internet so far and the Absence of Brussels from Amsterdam

Search Engine neutrality in Europe in danger: Are 160.000 Google filtering requests good enough?

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

These four countries are the happiest in the European Union

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

How much is nature worth? $125 trillion, according to this report

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s