Youth and education are intertwined. So, talking about education should always involve young people. At the Transforming Education Summit, the youth of the world took active roles in shaping the global education scene.
Transforming Education Summit 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts, food insecurity, and unstable economy have been affecting the education of all children across the globe—some worse than others. The global education crisis is taking a toll on our progress to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education. So, Heads of State and Government, youth, and the private sector convened at the Transforming Education Summit in New York during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
Held on 16, 17, and 19 September 2022, this Summit had five Thematic Action Tracks: Inclusive & Equitable Schools, Curricula & Lifelong Learning, Teachers, Digital Transformation, and Financing Education. Each day had a different focus (Mobilization, Solutions, and Leaders), and the first day was all about youth engagement.
Engaging Youth in Education Dialogues
The youth were determined to convey their collective recommendations on transforming education to policymakers. The consultation process involved around 450,000 diverse young people from over 170 countries through grassroots-level, regional, national, and global dialogues. There were surveys, campaigns, and three global consultations between June and August 2022.
The global youth’s views, recommendations, and commitments are compiled in the Youth Declaration on Transforming Education.
Besides driving political commitment and actions on transforming education, the Youth Declaration is also proof of young people’s ownership over this process. The drafting process was coordinated by the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth together with the Summit Secretariat.
“For too long, we have been excluded or only tokenistically included in the policy and decision-making processes affecting our lives, livelihoods, and futures,” said the youth of the world. They declared, “We intend to achieve these goals not as passive beneficiaries but as partners and collaborators every step of the way.”
The document contains twenty points of demands and five points of commitments. In the Declaration, the youth reaffirm their desire to be meaningfully engaged as full-fledged partners. They also emphasize an overarching principle of solidarity as they believe an intersectional and inclusive approach can ensure true positive transformational change for all people and the planet, leaving no one behind.
One of their commitments is to “Promote intergenerational, intercultural, and interreligious dialogue and cooperation in education systems across all communities, countries, and regions to create a better world built on solidarity, diversity, empathy, mutual understanding, and respect.”
Representatives from the SDG4Youth network in the SDG4-High Level Steering Committee will ensure that the Youth Declaration will be followed through in an action plan.
You can watch the recordings from the Transforming Education Summit here on UNTV.
Naz is the Manager for International Editorial at Green Network Asia. She once studied Urban and Regional Planning and has lived in multiple cities across Southeast Asia. She is an experienced and passionate writer, editor, translator, and creative designer with almost a decade worth of portfolio.