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UNESCO to Convoke a Special Session of Global Education Meeting Next Month

UNESCO has decided to convene an extraordinary session of the Global Education Meeting (GEM) to be held on 22 October 2020, next month.

By Swati Mishra

 This Global Education Meeting has been set up for exchange among high-level political leaders, policymakers, and global education experts to protect and rethink educational strategy in the current and post COVID-19 world.

The United Nations Education Scientific Culture and Organization’s session on October 22 is convened with the aim to protect and promote education in the time of the pandemic.

Agency said, “Meeting is organized to promote and protect education at a time when education financing is at considerable risk of being left behind in the governments’ domestic budgets, stimulus packages, and international aid”.

By convening the extraordinary session of the Global Education Meeting GEM next month, our aim is to secure commitments from political leader to position education at the centre of national and international efforts to recover swiftly, inclusively and sustainably from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director of Education at UNESCO.

Ms Giannini said the overarching concern is to at least maintain, if not increase, education financing to avoid a “generational catastrophe”. “To be fit for purpose and respond to a radically new reality, we need a more integrated, influential and accountable coordination system for education, entirely geared to building back better through stronger links between policy steering and finance.

Behind the 2020 GEM is the resolve to speak with one voice, against the backdrop of unprecedented disruption that requires us, as a global community, to be disruptive in how we act. The GEM is driven by this sense of urgency – it pulls the alarm on the dramatic consequence that any decline in aid and national budget will have on an already deep education crisis,” Ms Giannini said.

According to UNESCO estimates, over 154 crore students are severely affected by the closure of educational institutions and school or college across the world amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

And agencies – UNESCO and UNICEF along with World Bank and the World Food Program – had recently come up with guidelines on how to safely reopen the school in the wake of COVID-19 and also warned that widespread closure of education facilities present an unprecedented risk to children’s education and wellbeing. Globally, over 3.2 crore people have been infected with COVID-19, and the total number of death from the deadly virus now stands at over 9.82 lakh.

It is also said that this GEM will launch an inclusive roadmap for the betterment of the education system and global sustainability. The GEM will focus on gender equality, reimagining teaching and learning, reopening school safely, and promote financial aid to domestic and international school and how to protect them from breakdown.

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