China’s National Seminar on Education 2030, co-organized by UNESCO Beijing Office, National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO, and UNICEF Country Office in China, was held in Beijing from January 12 to 13, 2017.
Mr. Qian Tang (UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education), Ms. Rana Flowers (UNICEF Representative to China), Mr. Zhanyuan Du (Vice Minister of Education of China), and Mr. Kai Cheng (Deputy Director of Board, China Disabled Person’s Federation) delivered speeches at the opening session.
Other experts and scholars present included Mr. Yue Du (Secretary-General of Chinese National Commission of UNESCO), Mr. Aaron Benavot (Director of Global Education Monitoring Report, UNESCO), Ms. Margo O’Sullivan (Chief of Education and Child Development of UNICEF China), Mr. Haibing Zhang (Director of Institute on World Economic Studies, Shanghai Institute for International Studies), Mr. Changwei Qin (Deputy Director-General, Department of Development and Planning), and Mr. Robert Parua (Education Specialist of UNESCO Beijing Office).
A total number of more than 140 participants from 10 different countries gathered to discuss the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Framework for Action Education 2030 in China. Education 2030, whose vision is fully captured by SDG4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) and its seven targets, attends to the “unfinished business” of the education-related MDGs, and at the meantime addresses emerging issues in the field of education, so as to face the global and national education challenges.
The Framework for Action Education 2030, which was adopted during the 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO in 2015, points out the direction and provides guidance for national educational development of all countries. To date, China has released China’s National Plan on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This seminar gathered scholars and experts to focus on the education-related contents of the national plan, discussing the feasibility of implementing SDG4 nationwide, and making preparations for the launch of a localized education agenda: Education 2030: Modernization of Education in China.
Following the opening session was the official launch of the Global Education Monitoring Report 2016 (Chinese version). The report, within the framework of sustainable development, monitors the national progresses of countries in achieving global educational goals. It provides valuable insight for governments and policymakers to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG4. Mr. Aaron Benavot, Director of Global Education Monitoring Report, introduced to the participants the major content of the report, interpreting the link between education and sustainable development, and explaining why such link is significant. He then addressed the six thematic topics covered by the report: “Planet: environmental sustainability”, “Prosperity: inclusive and sustainable growth”, “People: inclusive social development”, “Peace: political participation, peace and justice”, “Place: inclusive and sustainable cities”, and “Partnerships for sustainable development”.
35 international students from 8 African countries were also present at the seminar. With the full scholarship provided by the UNESCO/China (the Great Wall) Co-sponsored Fellowships Programme, these young scholars had just completed a full year study at East China Normal University, and would soon return to their homeland to further serve their own countries. They received their Certificate of Completion at the opening session of the seminar. Over the years, the Great Wall Scholarship has supported a great number of international youth to come to study in China.