Innovation and financing, two G20 proposals to transform education

Senior officials from G20 member countries and invited guests are discussing quality education strategies and education financing. Argentine Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña and Education Minister Alejandro Finocchiaro opened the working group meeting.

With the aim of putting together public policies that unleash people’s potential, the G20 Education Working Group is holding its first official meeting of the year in Buenos Aires today. The findings will help develop proposals to address the future of work, one of the three priorities of the 2018 Argentine G20 presidency.

Participating at the event’s opening at the CCK were Marcos Peña, Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of Argentina; Alejandro Finocchiaro, Minister of Education; Pedro Villagra Delgado, Argentine G20 sherpa; and Shiro Terashima, Director at the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

“We are living in exciting times of technological transformation, with new challenges facing governments, civil societies, and the academic sector on how we educate our children,” said Peña. “This group can help our leaders, giving them ideas on how to advance and work together to adapt our education and training systems to this new reality,” he added.

Minister Finocchiaro highlighted that this is the first year a minister-level G20 meeting on education will take place, underscoring its importance for the G20. “Our focus is on what our young people merit, so they can be the promoters of change, progress, and production that our countries need,” he said.

“We are aware that technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, suggesting great opportunities, but also great challenges. Moreover, we know that the demands of today’s job market are not the same as those of tomorrow’s. This is where education takes centre-stage of the debate, and it is what will allow our young people to adapt to the changes and reap the benefits,” he said.

The meeting, which concludes tomorrow, focuses on designing education strategies to ensure fair access to quality learning and thereby ensure sustainable development. To achieve this, two areas are given priority: future skills for life and work, focusing on innovative education systems for teaching and learning; and financing education, which concerns the structure of international financing and the efficient use of education budgets.

Today’s meeting looks at implementing innovative education policies that meet the demands of learning, training and knowledge. The goal is to identify cognitive and non-cognitive knowledge capacities, skills, values and attitudes that favour societal welfare and integration. The representatives of G20 members, invited countries, and international organizations will also discuss teacher training, with the aim of rethinking the skills and competencies of the profession.

On education financing, a topic on tomorrow’s agenda, meeting participants will seek to reach a consensus on public policies that guarantee a sustainable education system over time, one that ensures a balance between quality and fairness.

The next meetings of the Education Working Group will be held on 11-12 July in Geneva, Switzerland, and on 3-4 September in Mendoza, Argentina. Immediately thereafter is the G20 Meeting of Education Ministers, in addition to joint meetings with the Employment Working Group and employment ministers.

The future of work priority

The priority of the future of work is defined in the Overview of Argentina’s G20 Presidency as an opportunity to unleash people’s potential. It therefore places a focus on education as a means to “empower people to shape their own futures,” enabling people to “form an active citizenship able to contribute to the development of a world that is both fairer and more sustainable.”

About the G20

The G20 started out in 1999 as a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors. In 2008, amidst the global financial crisis, it evolved into what it is today: a major forum for dialogue and decision-making attended by world leaders from vital economies. Together, the G20 members represent 85% of global GDP, two-thirds of the world’s population, and 75% of international trade.