UNESCO hosted the annual meeting of the Global Education Coalition, bringing together more than 150 partner organizations to exchange ideas, identify potential collaborations and discuss future actions around the Coalition’s missions.
During the event on 28 March, partners reflected on the achievements of the Coalition, which was established in 2020 as COVID-19 forced schools around the world to close their doors. Since then, the Coalition has become a hub for collaboration and innovation. In support of the online gathering, a brochure entitled Transforming Education through Innovation — The Global Education Coalition Leading in Action was published, highlighting just some of the partner actions that are contributing to the transformation of education.
“This is indeed a Coalition anchored in values of solidarity and irrigated by incredible expertise at the service of education and innovation,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.
“We must continue to bring different expertise and resources to the table, to support the rapidly evolving needs of Member States and achieve change at scale,” she added.
The meeting included break out discussions around the Coalition’s four missions as well as announcements regarding new or upcoming initiatives, including:
- Building on its initial objective – to equip one million youth with digital and employability skills – the Global Skills Academy aims to reach 10 million youth by 2029, with a focus on digital skills, economic empowerment and social integration.
- The Global Learning House will scale up its actions through GLH Connect, a match making tool developed to connect learners with educators and provide no-cost educational resources.
- Through the maturing of its ‘training of trainers’ models and the mobilization of new institutions who provide no-cost trainings, the Global Teachers Campus is scaling the reach of its programmes. One project which will launch in the coming year, in partnership with Blackboard and colleagues in five English speaking West African countries, will train some 13,000 teachers through the ImagineLearning platform.
- Under the Gender flagship, the Girls Back to School guide on gender responsive education sector planning will be rolled out. A new campaign focused on getting girls back to school will also launch in Southern African and East African countries.
- With technical support from KPMG and Microsoft, the Coalition has launched a Microsoft Teams space to facilitate project collaboration and partner networking.
- The Coalition is currently mobilizing in response to the Ukrainian government’s appeal for support. The right to education is at stake for approximately 6 million Ukrainian children (3-17 age) and 1.5 million youth in higher education. Some 25 Coalition members have already offered support, such as content translation and trainings for educators.
Conversation also looked ahead to the Transforming Education Summit, which will take place later this year during the 77th UN General Assembly.
Heather Johnston, Vice President for Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for the Ericsson Group, urged other Coalition members to support the success of the Summit.
“The Coalition provides an excellent setting to coordinate efforts such as connectivity for education and skills for lifelong learning,” she said. “No one entity can do this on their own, the private sector plays a pivotal role to enable quality education for all and all sectors of society should join forces to create inclusive, sustainable and scalable solutions.”
Maki Katsuno-Hayashikawa, Director for UNESCO’s Division for Education, also encouraged GEC members to reach out to the TES with ideas or join work streams that will help set the direction for the Summit in September. “We are really looking forward to having the active engagement of all the GEC partners and members in the summit, starting with the pre-summit,” she said.