Education Ministers’ Session held at 2nd Voice of Global South Summit

Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, chaired the Education Ministers’ Session at 2nd Voice of Global South Summit held today in New Delhi. The summit, operating under the theme ‘Together for everyone’s growth, with everyone’s trust,’ addressed critical issues, particularly in the field of education. The Education Ministers engaged in profound discussions on the theme of ‘Making human resources future-ready.’

Ministers/ Dignitaries of 14 countries from the Global South – Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Georgia, Tunisia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malawi, Myanmar, Republic of Palau, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, Albania, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon – participated virtually in the session and shared their insights.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, in his opening remarks, welcomed the participating Ministers and reaffirmed India’s commitment to champion the voice of the Global South under leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Highlighted India’s pivotal role in leading discussions on these issues at the G20 Education Minister’s Meeting, Shri Pradhan emphasised on the significance of collaborative efforts in developing a resilient, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable education and skilling ecosystem. The G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration acknowledged the importance of investing in human capital development.

Shri Pradhan informed the participating Ministers on how India’s National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, being implemented under the leadership of the PM Shri Narendra Modi, is bringing holistic transformation to India’s learning and skilling landscape. He also remarked that NEP as a philosophical document can act as a template for emerging economies towards developing comprehensive strategies and agile policies. Stressing on the importance of shared aspirations, Shri Pradhan, called for common strategies, leveraging the twin pillars of education and skill development.

Other Ministers in their address, shared success stories, challenges faced and strategies to address them. They unequivocally commended India’s effort to strengthen cooperation in the fields of education and skilling among the countries of the Global South.

The Education Ministers from the participating countries agreed on the need to work together for an accessible, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future through quality education. Underlining the importance of investing in human capital development and to address the global skill divide, the Ministers agreed on the need to provide skilling, reskilling and upskilling opportunities to create a future-ready workforce aligned to the demands of the industry.

The Education Ministers also reiterated shared commitment to overcome the digital divide for all learners by addressing the barriers to technological infrastructure and work collectively to develop technology ecosystems and learning resources, including in local languages that are affordable and easily accessible. They underlined the central role of all teachers and education staff all over the world in promoting education and the need to foster an environment including through capacity building and exchange programmes that will enable teachers and staff to thrive in their profession.

The Ministers agreed to encourage collaborative solutions, innovations, sharing of best practices to promote quality teaching, learning and skilling as well as foster academic collaborations among educational institutions as well as encouraging student and faculty exchange programs.

Appreciating the fellow Ministers for their valuable ideas, Shri Pradhan expressed his confidence that with collective efforts, the South-South cooperation will grow from strength to strength. India will work ‘Together for Everyone’s Growth, With Everyone’s Trust’ for global well-being, an equitable world order and for a brighter global future, he added.

The summit builds upon the foundation laid during the Inaugural Voice of Global South Summit in January 2023, which focused on uniting voices and purposes from 125 countries of the Global South, reflecting India’s commitment to addressing key priorities of the developing world, particularly in education and skill development.

The 2nd Voice of Global South Summit aims to serve as a platform to share the outcomes of various G20 meetings, sustain momentum generated from the previous summit, and discuss ways to achieve shared aspirations for inclusive and equitable international development. Deliberations will also focus on harnessing digital technologies to bridge the digital divide and strengthening cooperation in developing life, technical, and vocational skills. The outcomes of the summit are expected to inform the deliberations at the upcoming G20 Virtual Summit hosted by India on 22nd November 2023.

There are 8 Ministerial sessions during the Summit. The Summit, with the theme ‘Together, for Everyone’s Growth, with Everyone’s Trust’ would focus on sharing with countries of the Global South the key outcomes achieved in various G20 meetings over the course of India’s Presidency. Key ideas and suggestions emerging from the members of the Global South at the 2nd VOGSS will also be informed during the next G-20 Virtual Summit, to be hosted by India on 22 November 2023.