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September 30, 2022
Held at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, between 16-19 September 2022, the Transforming Education Summit (TES) was convened in response to a global crisis of equity, quality, and relevance in education. The first of its kind, this high-level summit gathered representatives from over 130 countries and aimed to mobilize political ambition, action, and solutions with a view to transforming education and accelerating progress on Sustainable Development Goal 4 (on inclusive and equitable quality education) between now and 2030.
The TES came at a critical point in time, as countries around the world were grappling to respond to the ongoing 'global learning crisis' (a term used to describe the widespread lack or inefficiency of learning systems that have resulted in millions of children not attaining foundational educational skills in basic reading and mathematics). As the World Bank notes, humanitarian and political emergencies of the past few years including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the Taliban's ban on secondary education for girls in Afghanistan have exacerbated the learning crisis by sharply increasing 'learning poverty' rates (a measure of children unable to read and understand a simple passage by age 10) - which if left unaddressed, could jeopardize the future of millions of children and undermine the economic prosperity of their countries. In attempts to mitigate the learning crisis from resulting in generational learning losses, the TES was conveyed with the aim of mobilizing widespread commitments towards prioritizing education measures, revitalizing national and global efforts to achieve SDG 4, and re-imagining education systems for the future.
The TES focused on addressing the ongoing crisis and mobilizing commitments to transform education systems for the future. Key objectives included:
Five thematic action areas were identified for the TES. These were areas believed to require the most urgent global attention and were estimated to have the most potential to accelerate progress in education. These included:
After 115 national consultations that brought together leaders, teachers, students, civil society, and other partners to gather collective recommendations on the most urgent asks in the education sector, the following commitments were undertaken by attending member states at the TES:
The following seven global ‘calls to action’ were launched at the TES with the aim of mobilizing political commitment for transforming education, beyond the summit:
Recognizing that 'foundational learning' (which refers to basic literacy, numeracy, and transferable skills such as socio-emotional skills) was a key element to transforming education and addressing the learning crisis, the following commitments were finalized:
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