Sunday 25 March 2018

'Quality education for all' vital to achieve 2030 Agenda

DUBAI, February 14, 2018

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) will lead several initiatives aimed at integrating education and culture into a long-term strategy for rebuilding hope and dignity, according to its Director General Audrey Azoulay.

She made the remarks while giving the penultimate speech on the last day of World Government Summit in Dubai, which was attended by Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future, and summit chairman.

Azoulay said 263 million children currently did not have a school place.

"These are the would-be teachers, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and citizens of tomorrow, unable to shape the future potential of the rest of their lives," Azoulay added.

In September 2015 the UN created a plan for the future sustainability of the world’s population and the planet, called Agenda 2030.

Azoulay warned that without "quality education for all," the goals of Agenda 2030 could not be achieved.

But she also cautioned against complacency about places where children are in schools, adding that they "are not necessarily gaining basic skills, leaving equipped with knowledge and competencies for the 21st century. We need to step up investment in quality education to reach the most marginalized and disadvantaged learners."

Azoulay said the world needed a "skills revolution."

"The shift to the green economy and the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution call for a sharper focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics," she said.

"Especially for girls, who are too often dissuaded from pursuing a career in these fields."

While placing an emphasis on sciences, she said there was also a need to include humanities in education.

"In recent years we have seen – including in this region – increased attempts at cultural cleansing by those who wish to erase traces of our shared history, and wish to deny diversity," remarked Azoulay.

"But culture is more than buildings, documents and traditions. It is how we see ourselves, how we see the world, how we learn about ourselves and about others," she stated.

Education for all, she said, was the "only long-term solution to fight extremism."

"When extremists divide humanity between us and them, we need to highlight everything that unites us as a single community," she added.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: UN | education |

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