Appreciation of educational professionals is a consensus at the G20
The first meeting of the Working Group on Education has just been concluded. Created in 2018, the group is under the coordination of the Brazilian Ministry of Education this year. Three priority areas were presented during today’s session (6). In addition to representatives from the member-states and invited countries, the list of participants included international organizations such as the Education International and the Global Student Forum.
Appreciation of educational professionals; sharing of digital educational materials on sustainable development; and the launch of the G20 Award for Community Engagement in Schools. These are the Working Group's priorities for this year, presented during its first technical meeting, attended by representatives from all G20 member-states and invited countries.
At the end of the meeting, Francisco Figueiredo de Souza, special advisor for international issues of the Ministry of Education (MEC), and Natália Cabral, international issues assistant, also from MEC, reported on the success of the discussions and the agreement of all countries regarding the proposed priorities.
During the presentation, they also highlighted the goal of bringing the WG closer to representatives from civil society. “For us, it is important that, together with the ministers of Education, we can count on people from the school grounds, teachers, educators, so that we can go beyond the conceptual debate,” indicated Francisco.
In this sense, the participation of two international organizations was highlighted: Education International, a global federation of teachers’ unions with over 32 million educators; and the Global Student Forum, which encompasses the world's main student unions, representing around 300 million students. Among its members are the Brazilian student organizations, the National Union of Students, the Brazilian Union of High School Students, and the National Association of Post-Graduate Students. It was the first time since 2018, when the Education WG was created, that these international organizations attended this kind of meeting.
On the priority areas, Natália Cabral stressed the importance of the G20 discussions about the appreciation of educators and incentives to their continued education. “The quality of education cannot surpass the quality of the teacher. This is one of the main reasons we must discuss this issue, as it unites all G20 member-states”, she declared.
Inspiration from verified experiences
Regarding educational contents about sustainable development, Francisco de Souza indicated that, even though this is a new issue, it has been raising international attention. “Although it is a relatively new concept, every country has been seeking ways to incorporate it in the curriculum. We have noted that there is a need to intensify the international sharing of materials so that teachers do not have to reinvent the wheel, as they often do. They can find inspiration in well-planned lessons prepared in other contexts, as it continues to be a global issue,” said the special advisor.
During the opening session on Monday (5), the Brazilian Minister of Education, Camilo Santana, reaffirmed the Brazilian Presidency's proposals and thanked the other countries for their support for the proposed topics. “When we speak together, our voice is amplified; we want to push forward the international agenda of education and to contribute to making it a priority which deserves to be considered in multilateral deliberations,” added the Minister.
Entities such as the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO); the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); the United Nations Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF); the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); the World Bank; the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI), also participated in the meeting.
In addition to this technical meeting, three other presential sessions of the WG are scheduled: one in May, in Brasília (DF); another one in July, in the city of Rio de Janeiro (RJ); and a third one in October, which will be held in Fortaleza (CE), immediately before the meeting of Ministers of Education.