30 March 2023 at 9:00 am to 12:00 pm GMT+7 (Bangkok time)
Type of event:
At Conference Room 3, United Nations Conference Centre and via Zoom (Hybrid setup)
UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, UNICEF East-Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA)
The event is co-organized under the overall umbrella of the Asia-Pacific Learning and Education 2030+ (LE2030+) Networking Group.
The global Transforming Education Summit (TES), convened at the United Nations in September 2022 by the UN Secretary-General (UNSG), elevated education to the top of global and national political agendas and mobilized action, solidarity and solutions to recover learning losses, address the learning crisis, transform education systems, and to generate renewed momentum towards achieving SDG 4.
TES resulted in a Vision Statement by the UNSG, ‘Transforming Education: An urgent political imperative for our collective future’, in which the principles for education in the 21st century are put forward, and which emphasizes the need to rethink the purpose and content of education so as to achieve a ‘truly transformative education’, one which ‘should respond to local, national and global needs, cultures and capacities…[and] promote the holistic development of all leaners throughout their lives, supporting them to realize their aspirations and to contribute to their families, communities and societies.’
To meet this goal, transforming education in the following areas is required:
- Ensuring a learning environment that supports the development of all learners
- Enabling teachers to transform themselves and become agents of change
- Harnessing the digital revolution for the benefit of public education
- Investing more, more equitably, and more efficiently in education
Above all, the UNSG statement reminds the world that education is a fundamental human right, and it is a principle for the society to ensure the right to quality education throughout life. Education can also help to advance realization of other rights.
Notably, as a result of extensive national consultations convened by Member States prior to the Summit, 133 National Statements of Commitment to transform education were submitted, of which 29 from the Asia-Pacific region, and 65 Heads of States/Governments delivered their statements during the Summit.
In these Statements, countries commit to take action to transform their education systems, including ensuring COVID-19 recovery, building resilience to future shocks, addressing educational exclusion, transforming the teaching profession, renewing curriculum content and methods, enhancing digital learning, increasing financing of education, governing education as a common good, and engaging youth.
At the Summit itself, five Global Initiatives/Calls to Action were launched to support countries to improve their education systems, namely by making these systems more inclusive and resilient to future challenges, including: greening education; providing digital learning for all; providing foundational learning and addressing the learning crisis; and advancing gender equality and education in crisis situations. The Summit also resulted in a ‘Call to Action on Transforming Education Financing’, and the establishment of the International Financing Facility for Education; as well as a Youth Declaration. Moreover, a proposal for the establishment of a Global Commission on the Teaching Profession, and a Global Youth Initiative, emerged from the Summit process.
The future success of this extraordinary mobilization for education hinges upon the actions that countries will now take to deliver on their National Statements of Commitment, which will also reinforce the implementation of SDG 4. Led by countries, the Summit follow-up requires collective efforts and multi-stakeholder engagement from the local to the national levels, no less a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach, all supported by the international community and other stakeholders at both the regional and global levels.
Given this perspective, this Special Event, ‘Transforming Education Now and for the Future We Want: TES National Follow-up Actions to Move towards the Achievement of SDG 4’, taking place six months after TES, will focus on how countries from the Asia-Pacific region have operationalized their commitments, progress made and review how countries have engaged, to date, with TES’s global initiatives.
The Special Event is organized as an associated event of the 10th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD), which will take place from 27 to 30 March 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand. The annual APFSD, organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in collaboration with UN partner organizations, is an inclusive intergovernmental forum and the agreed platform for follow-up and review of the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region, feeding into the global High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and also supporting national progress assessment. This year’s forum is organized on the theme “Accelerating the recovery from COVID-19 pandemic and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific”.
The associated Special Event is organized by UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok), UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (UNICEF EAPRO) and the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), under the auspices of ESCAP. It is scheduled to take place on 30 March 2023, from 9:00 to 12:00 hrs (GMT +7).
This Event will provide a platform for participating countries from Asia and the Pacific to share and learn from good practices and innovations they have initiated to transform their education systems and address the learning crisis, contributing to
SDG 4 and realizing the right to education for all.
Speakers representing governments, and other education stakeholders from the region will discuss priority actions, innovations, progress made, bottlenecks, and more equitable and efficient financing, within the general framework of building more equitable, inclusive and resilient education systems, focusing on three priority areas, namely:
- Transformation of teaching and learning: curriculum, pedagogy and assessment;
- Climate change education and making education systems more climate resilient; and
- Digital learning and transformation, as part of building resilient and transformed education systems.
This Special Event also aims at enhancing regional and South-South cooperation and partnership.
The follow-up of TES should continue to involve and engage youth as active agents of change and are included in the processes of implementing policy and systematic changes to education stakeholders and governments.
Watch the Youth Declaration Process on Transforming Education. The Youth Declaration (available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Russian) aims to drive political commitment on the need to transform education and build young people’s ownership over this process. In total, an estimated 450,000 young people worldwide have made contributions to the process.
Youth advocates also propel transformed vision of education at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister's Conference (APREMC-II):
- Information exchanged on good practices, innovations and experiences in translating National Statements of Commitment on transforming education into practice
- Knowledge enhanced on key challenges, bottlenecks and solutions, including the contribution of the implementation to SDG 4 achievement in the region
- Fostering of regional cooperation and partnerships, including South-South collaboration for TES follow-up and the implementation of SDG 4.
Hybrid: in person attendance and online Zoom conferencing
For your reference, please check the following documents:
- Concept Note and Provisional Agenda
- Presentation Abstract
- Information note for onsite participation
- Information note for online participation
- Transformation through learning how to learn: New Curriculum, pedagogy and assessment at secondary level education in Bangladesh
- The Philippines Basic Education reform Agenda: MATATAG: Bansang Makabata, Batang Makabansa
- Contextualizing the Transformative Education Summit in Nepal
- The equitable and innovative funding model of education funding of the Equitable Education Fund (Thailand) and its programs
- Merdeka Belajar Road to Transforming Education in Indonesia
- Cambodia’s Spotlight on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy
- Digital Transformation of Education: A Case from the Republic of Korea
- China's Transforming Education to benefit all people
- Thailand’s actions on Digital Transformation in Education
- How Lao PDR is incorporating climate resilient design measures to protect the school from the impact of disasters
For information, please contact:
Ms Margarete Sachs-Israel, Section for Inclusive Quality Education (IQE), UNESCO Bangkok, M.Sachs-Israel(at)unesco.org.
Ms. Wasinee Noppakunthong, National Professional Officer, Section for Inclusive Quality Education (IQE), UNESCO Bangkok, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Main photo credit: Rahbar stock/shutterstock