Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark has urged Education Ministers to ensure “no one is left behind” during a visit to the Commonwealth Secretariat
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark has urged Education Ministers to ensure “no one is left behind” during a visit to the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Speaking at Marlborough House ahead of the Commonwealth Education Ministers Meeting in Fiji in February 2018, Clark said the conference would be an important opportunity for inter-governmental discussion on ways to strengthen schooling systems within the 52 member states and issues such as low levels of enrollment.
She added that attendees had a vital leadership role in improving outcomes for future generations through continuing education and achieving the wider goals of the sustainable development agenda.
The conference is taking place early on in the Sustainable Development Goals process and as such is perfectly placed to challenge every country to have inclusive education for all, leading to sustainable, resilient, inclusive and cohesive societies, the former Head of the UN Development Programme asserted.
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Sustainability and Resilience: Can Education Deliver?’ and will cover related issues such as climate change, the expansion of information and communication technology, and technical and vocational education and training.
Clark will be speaking at the meeting and praised the position the Commonwealth is in to be able to bring together many different nations to share best practices and learn from each other.
It is united in many ways, she said, by history and by the common use of the English language.
Literature can therefore be used to easily share ideas and establish a comraderie to tackle similar problems in different societies, the former Prime Minister asserted.
Meanwhile, as the conference takes place, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) will be launching two new agriculture online courses on February 20, 2018 in support of distance learning and vocational training.
The agMOOCs Consortium, initiated and supported by COL, will begin offering two massive open online courses (MOOCs), titled `Fundamentals of Agricultural Extension’ and `Integrated Disease Management’, which will be available to learners globally and at no cost.
No prior learning will be required by participants, and the courses will be offered at the level of an undergraduate programme.
A total of 16 MOOCs have been offered to 27,000 learners from over 100 countries since the Consortium launched in 2015, with 5,600 certificates earned to date.
Speaking at the Commonwealth headquarters, Helen Clark said: “A huge issue is those who have been left behind from the formal education system.
“We still have tens of millions of children not enrolled in school and quite a number of those are in Commonwealth countries.
“So it will be very important for this conference to be stressing leaving no-one behind in education because, if there’s anything that makes for inclusive development, it is the opportunity of every child and every young person to have access to schooling.”
Read More: Helen Clark, former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, asserts that youth, innovation and sustainable development should be at the heart of the Commonwealth post-2015