Kenya: Ministers for global education meet in Nairobi for the Commonwealth Conference

Nairobi — 54 education ministers are among the key policymakers expected to convene in Nairobi on Wednesday and Thursday next week for the 21st Commonwealth of Education Ministers’ Conference (CCEM).

A statement from the Education Ministry said the government-hosted high-level conference would be held under the theme “Rethinking education for innovation, growth and sustainability after Covid-19”.

“Over the past two years, we have seen COVID-19 rob people around the world of their loved ones, their livelihoods and so many of the usual certainties and comforts of everyday life. Its impact on young people has been particularly distressing, with millions of students disrupting their education – schools and universities have been closed and students have been forced to study from home as a result of lockdown measures that have also exacerbated existing inequalities, particularly among girls and marginalized communities,” said the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt said Hon Patricia Scotland.

Its main objective is to discuss key education priorities within the 54-member Commonwealth that align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The conference will bring together ministers, senior government officials, educators, development partners, civil society and policymakers to share knowledge and best practices in education as the world recovers from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants will also identify areas for action and examine innovative approaches that can be adapted by member countries to develop sustainable and resilient education systems.

She pointed out that the pandemic has already taken so much from them and people must act now to prevent it from taking away the human right to education.

She added that the theme of the 21st CCEM was timely and reminded everyone that now more than ever it is important for the Commonwealth family to come together to reassess the status quo and build a more prosperous and thriving Commonwealth work towards for our young people.

“To that end, the Secretariat will continue to work with member countries, stakeholders and partners as part of its commitment to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4 and strengthen education systems and policies across the Commonwealth. I commend the people and government of Kenya for their commitment to a successful CCEM in Nairobi,” she said.

Professor George Magoha, the new Chair of the Education Ministerial Action Group (EMAG) and Cabinet Secretary for Education, said it was high time to revitalize the education sector, which has been brought to a near standstill by the pandemic.

“Low-income countries have been hit particularly hard. With the future of our children and youth at stake, we must work together to rebuild better and refocus on investing in inclusive and equitable and quality education. We need to build resilient education systems to address emerging issues and withstand future crises as part of policies to minimize and protect learning from disruptions,” Magoha said.

For the first time, the proceedings of this year’s conference will adopt a hybrid format, with education ministers invited to attend the physical meeting in Nairobi, while those unable to travel to Kenya attend virtually via an online platform.

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