New global education agenda calls for green and gender-equal technical and vocational education

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© UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo

A seminar on How to achieve a green and gender equal TVET - Challenges in a Post 2015 perspective, was held on 5 November as a side-event at UNESCO’s 38th General Conference.

The seminar organised by the Friends of TVET, a Swedish initiative which works as an informal network to support UNESCO’s work in TVET, was attended by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, Assistant Director-General for Education, Dr Qian Tang and Swedish Minister of Education. Gustav Fridolin.

Worldwide the importance of TVET is increasingly recognised. In 2014 almost 74 million young people were looking for work while surveys of private sector companies reveal a deficit in education and skills.

Mr Fridolin said he was heartened that participants at the recently held UNESCO Youth Forum had highlighted the need for TVET and that his country and its feminist government had made strides in increasing access to TVET but that women’s participation still remained strikingly low.

He said: “Children should be given the tools to find their own uniqueness. Education should be considered a public good and this education should include TVET.”

Ms Bokova praised the partnership with the Friends of TVET and said: “TVET is about making the most of the capacities of every woman and man. It is about empowering people and societies, and eradicating poverty. It is about promoting green innovation and green growth. This will be decisive for the forthcoming Paris Climate Change Conference.”

The seminar, moderated by Ms Annika Markovic, Sweden’s ambassador to UNESCO and attended by ministers and stakeholders, shared experiences and lessons learned on how to deal with TVET challenges in a post-2015 perspective.

It put special focus on green growth and gender equality and highlighted the universality of education and the relevance of the Sustainable Development Goals for both developing and developed countries.
Ms Bokova said: “With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States have agreed on a new vision for the next 15 years. Education stands at the heart of this vision. Not just any education. Quality education. Education that foster relevant skills. Education that nurtures new ways of thinking and acting, for sustainability, for global citizenship, for peace.” 

Also taking part were Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC Mr Shyamal Majumdar and Mr Eugene Ngabe, Minister of Youth and Sports, Liberia.