Big 6 Youth Organisations welcome key outcomes from the Transforming Education Summit
As the United Nations General Assembly meets for the first time in three years, education reform is at the top of the agenda. Over three days, young people, policymakers, civil society organisations, governments and leaders came together to debate, discuss, and prioritise actions as part of the Transforming Education Summit.
The Summit highlighted young people’s and civil society's, collective sense of urgency to address the global education crisis alongside interconnected challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, a mental health crisis, growing inequality, and conflict. As António Guterres, Secretary General of the UN said when addressing the Summit, we must move from an ‘age of consultation to an age of shared responsibility.’
The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), along with our partners from across the Big 6 Youth Organisations*, welcome the following developments from the Summit:
- 'We, the youth of the world'. Placing a youth voice and perspective at the centre of education reform as set out in the Youth Declaration is critical. A key step in acting on the Youth Declaration will require conditions and commitments to enable youth-led intergenerational dialogues to inform decision-making.
- Scale-up education financing. The launch of the new International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) is a powerful new tool for financing global education. We look forward to working with the Education Commission and others to advocate for more funding and focus on quality, inclusive, and accessible education for all, especially girls and young people with disabilities.
- Multi-sectoral partnership focus with education as the enabler. If we are to address the world’s biggest issues, from climate change, poverty, gender inequality, lack of respect for human rights, mental health, and more, we must prioritise education in its entirety (including formal and non-formal education and learning pathways). The Summit has helped to re-emphasise the role of education as the key enabler for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
- Focus on life skills, global citizenship, leadership, and transferable skills. The Summit clearly demonstrated the need to focus on life skills, global citizenship, leadership, and transferable skills to meet the needs of young people. The Big 6 organisations (and the national organisations they represent) lead in developing skills and experiences through volunteering, for, by, and with youth worldwide.
While non-formal education was not on the Transforming Education Summit agenda, the Big Six Youth Organisations were present and proud to advocate on behalf of the 250 million young people we support across 192 countries for the practical, youth-led, and skills-based learning opportunities we provide as an essential complement to formal education.
As outlined in the Rio Declaration, authored and signed at the World Non-Formal Education Forum in 2019, non-formal education and learning must be recognised as a key component of comprehensive education, including funding commitments and partnerships.
Attending the Summit, Paul Klahre, Youth Representative for WOSM, said:
“Education systems around the world require transformation to become accessible, inclusive, learner-centered, and human-rights based. Scouts came to the Transforming Education Summit this week with a clear message for world leaders: Non-formal education must be recognised for its contribution to personal and skills development, and needs the funding to back it up.”
Ahmad Alhendawi, Secretary General of WOSM, also attended the Summit:
“We cannot overstate the importance of education as a key driver for achieving all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. As we see in Scouting, when young people lead and learn to work together, they become driven to create a better world for all - meaning better livelihoods, greater peace and more equality.”
As we look beyond Transforming Education and towards 2030, we will continue to work with young people, partners, and governments, to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and achieve real change with, by, and for young people worldwide.
*The Big 6 is made up of the: World Young Men’s Christian Association (WYMCA); World Young Women’s Christian Association (WYWCA); World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) ; World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS); International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (The Award).
The participation of Youth Representatives at events was made possible with support from Alwaleed Philanthropies, a key partner in Scouts for SDGs, an initiative in which Scouts are making the world’s largest coordinated youth contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.