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Y20 Consultation Meeting Deliberates on Global Education Reforms

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New Delhi: What are the education reforms we need in the context of the dynamic world of the 21st century? A session at the fourth Y20 Consultation Meeting, being held at the Symbiosis International University (SIU) in Pune today, in collaboration with Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, brought together experts and thought leaders to examine this question.

Simon Kuany Kiir Kuany, Programme Manager at Education for Peace, UNESCO Iraq, emphasized the importance of more interactive and playful education, including life skills like the ability to think of oneself and how to lead in the future. He believes that the education framework should be culturally oriented, where culture is not compromised, so that it keeps the students rooted in their background.

Ms. Sofia Bermudez, Young Education Advocate from Argentina, talked about the holistic approach to education, where the individual focuses more on the purpose of his teaching than on finding jobs. She deliberated on the need for specialized instruction tailored to students from diverse backgrounds. She demanded that the leaders include students in formulating education policy as those policies are integral to their development. She elaborated on education being a silent crisis whose consequence will be felt in the next five years if reform actions are not taken immediately.

Mr. Ulises Brengi, UNESCO’s SDG4Youth Network from Argentina, stressed the importance of both hard and soft skills in the education curriculum. He said that institutions across the globe are struggling with providing up-to-date hard skills due to a lack of infrastructure and funding requirements, while soft skills are almost nonexistent. He mentioned a massive gap between ancient existing education frameworks, traditional teaching methods, and the upcoming generation of students needing help to work in the current education system.

Dr. Arjun Deore, IFS, Regional Passport Officer from Pune, raised the central issue of “Brain Drain” in India and how the young Indian population is immigrating abroad for higher studies. He talked about various initiatives that the Indian government is taking toward solving this problem. Initiatives such as establishing foreign institute offices, physical campuses, and collaboration with international professors are being taken to provide quality education for the youth.

On better collaborations for students from diversified backgrounds, Mr. Ulises Brengi pointed to creating classrooms into powerful spaces where students from diversified backgrounds can think for themselves and educators can inspire them to speak up on issues. Simon Kuany Kiir Kuany suggested creating a “Buddy system” in schools where students can help each other, along with academics, and fasten collective growth.

On the growth of big education corporations running parallel to traditional schools, Dr. Arjun Deore elaborated on the growing panic, fear of missing out, and the pressure of early excellence in students and parents giving way to the growth of giant educational corporations. He also said that the lack of language inclusivity hinders schools from catering to each student’s needs.

Key Takeaways

Emphasis on holistic approach towards education
Increase in funding and investment in education system
Focus on soft skills and vocational training
The session was moderated by Ms. Lynsdsie Whitehead, Fullbright Scholar, USA.

The audience at the Consultation Meeting comprised young delegates, winners from competitions, invitees and students from India and G20 countries.

Y20 is an official consultation forum for youth from all G20 member countries to be able to have dialogue with each other. The theme for the fourth Y20 Consultation is ‘Peace building and Reconciliation: Ushering in an Era of No War- the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Climate Action is one of the six sub themes of the consultation.