Education must be the central strategy for a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis focused on the future and rebuilds more democratic, inclusive, sustainable and socially just societies. With this in mind, the SDG-E2030 Regional Steering Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean calls for action through six key strategies that advocate inclusive and equitable quality education for all people, especially the most vulnerable.
Based on the recommendations for action in the 2020 Global Education Meeting Declaration adopted in October by all UNESCO Member States, the declaration’s strategies call for prioritizing and protecting financing for education; reopening schools safely and gradually; strengthening and dignifying teachers, school leaders and other education personnel; restoring learning and reducing learning gaps; reducing the digital divide and promoting connectivity as a right; and deepening inter-country cooperation and solidarity, partnership development and regional and intersectoral coordination.
The document was developed by the SDG-E2030 Regional Steering Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, a mechanism adopted by the Ministers of Education of Latin America and the Caribbean, as a mandate within the Cochabamba Agreements: Regional solidarity to reach SDG4-E2030 in Latin America and the Caribbean (2018). The region is currently represented by Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Curaçao, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela; other members include UNESCO, UNICEF and UNFPA; CARICOM, CECC-SICA, OAS, and OEI; and the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) and Education International.
The Declaration highlights education as a fundamental right and global public good and calls for its protection to prevent a generational catastrophe "that could squander untold human potential, undermine decades of progress and exacerbate entrenched inequalities", as stated by UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the most severe disruption to education systems ever, and threatens to cause major learning deficits. In Latin America and the Caribbean, where some 165 million students have been affected by the physical closure of educational facilities, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating educational inequalities, and threatens to set back recent progress made by countries by at least a decade.
The SDG-E2030 Regional Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean is committed to its facilitating role in support UNESCO Member States in the region as they implement and strengthen initiatives addressing the strategies and actions proposed in the regional declaration, and to follow up on the Declaration of the World Education 2020 Meeting.