The second Education Working Group meeting under the Italian G20 Presidency was held virtually at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, on 13-14 May 2021.
May 28th, 2021
The second Education Working Group meeting under the Italian G20 Presidency was held virtually at Palazzo Chigi in Rome, on 13-14 May 2021. The two-day meeting was attended by delegates from all G20 partners, representatives from guest countries as well as delegates from regional and international organizations.
Welcome remarks were delivered by the Italian Minister of Education, Prof. Patrizio Bianchi, who stressed the importance of strengthening education systems and ensuring quality education for all, reducing the risks of educational poverty – now further exacerbated by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The meeting was chaired by Gianluca Grandi, Diplomatic Adviser of the Italian Minister of Education and coordinator of the group, and opened with remarks from the G20 Troika Co-Chairs (Italy, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia).
Over the course of the two days, G20 members and participating guests had the opportunity to exchange views on key issues related to education.
Specifically, day one was dedicated to the impact of Covid-19 on education and training as well as to the preliminary results of a study on policies and programmes promoting blended education and tackling educational poverty conducted by the Italian Presidency in cooperation with UNESCO. After remarks from regional organizations (African Union, NEPAD, ASEAN) and presentations from international organizations (OECD, UNICEF), the membership shared lessons learned from the pandemics, advancing proposals for future cooperation in education and training. A final session was devoted to the drafting of the Declaration of the Ministers of Education, a Declaration that will be adopted by the G20 Education Ministers at the Ministerial Meeting to be held in Catania on 22 June 2021.
The second day was dedicated to the issue of school-to-work transition, focusing on effective ways to improve the access of the youth to the labour market. The first session was devoted to presentations from international organizations (UNESCO, OECD, UNICEF, ILO) and followed by an open debate among participants. During the roundtable, Member States offered their perspective as well as their best practices, including policies and strategies, adopted to facilitate the next generation’s smoother transition from school to the labour market. The debate was followed by another drafting session of the final Declaration.
Overall, the meeting highlighted a strong spirit of cooperation among participants, who shared the view that, while the Covid-19 crisis has strongly impacted the education sector, it has also offered an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen it, and to work collaboratively towards the eradication of education poverty and a better transition from school to work.