It is a great honour and responsibility for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology of the Argentine Republic to have promoted, under Argentina’s G20 presidency and for the first time in the history of the forum, an education agenda that continues building the consensus necessary for global development.
Education is, undoubtedly, the main driver for the sustainable development of our nations. What is more, education is a fundamental human right that gives access to other rights and a powerful tool that spurs economic, social and environmental development. A prosperous and inclusive society can only be possible through a sustainable development agenda that considers education to be a central instrument that allows children and youth to follow the path of knowledge.
Today, we are facing an ever-changing world in which new technologies are increasingly transforming the ways we socialise, study and work. In this context, a reorientation of goals, strategies and priorities for what and how we should prepare our children, youth and adults is vitally important so that they can reap the benefits brought by scientific and technological progress. We are responsible for the most powerful tool that can foster opportunities, unleash people’s full potential and help build an active citizenship.
A new declaration
The G20 Education Working Group has held various meetings that prioritised the promotion of education and skills policies, with a lifelong learning approach; the financing of education, which must be both sufficient and efficient to ensure not only system sustainability, but also the building of an international architecture for financing education that leaves no one behind; and the strengthening of international cooperation. After a year of very fruitful meetings, G20 members and invited countries have reached a consensus, which is why these topics have been crystallised in the first G20 Education Ministers’ Declaration.
In addition, we have met throughout the year, through the G20 Employment Working Group, and also agreed upon the first G20 Joint Education, Labour and Employment Ministers’ Declaration. This commitment highlights the importance of creating coordinated education and employment policies so as to face the challenges posed by the future of work, one of the priorities established by Argentina’s G20 presidency. The declaration contains an annex on guidelines on skills for an inclusive future, which deals with promoting “21st-century skills”, including critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, communication, flexibility, collaboration, entrepreneurial skills, and digital skills such as programming, big data analysis, coding and robotics in all levels of education and work environments.
In both declarations, we have emphasised the need to prioritise skills development among vulnerable and underrepresented groups, and our commitment to address inequality through policies that ensure inclusive and equitable opportunities for all.
Empowering girls and women
Moreover, within the framework of the vision pursued by Argentina’s G20 presidency of placing gender equality and women’s empowerment at the centre of the agenda, we have reinforced our commitment to continue encouraging equal access to inclusive, equitable and quality education within safe learning environments at all educational levels for girls and women, and fostering their participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Therefore, G20 leaders must affirm how important it is to ensure that present and future generations learn and understand our globally shared values. Education is not merely the transfer of knowledge from teacher to student. Education is much more than the knowledge acquired. Education is evolution: it is about “doing” and being able to share with the community and the world what you have to contribute and improve every day.
We are thrilled to have placed education as a priority on the global development agenda and to have created a unique worldwide learning community. However, we know that this is just the beginning and that we have a long way to go. We hope to develop this agenda in the years to come, by learning from each other’s experiences, sharing knowledge and best practices, and developing joint initiatives to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.