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UNESCO welcomes statement by world’s emerging economies on strengthening cooperation on education

UNESCO welcomes the statement made by leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) at the sixth BRICS summit on 15 July, placing importance on education in achieving sustainable growth and development.

This years’ theme for the first of a new cycle of BRICS Summits was "Inclusive Growth: Sustainable Solutions”. Discussions at the meeting in the north-eastern city of Fortaleza, Brazil, centred on how the countries can work together to boost economic growth and promote social development, while recognising that education is a key factor to their success.

“The statement by BRICS to place equitable, inclusive and quality education at the heart of the post-2015 agenda is important political recognition which will bolster international efforts to address the challenges of poverty and inequality and achieve stronger and more sustainable development,” Mr Qian Tang, Assistant Director General for Education – UNESCO, said.

UNESCO has been supporting BRICS on the issues of prioritising quality education to support inclusive sustained growth. In November 2013, education ministers from the countries met at the Organization’s headquarters in Paris to kick start discussions for cooperation in education. The landmark meeting concluded with the nations’ agreeing to closer collaboration with support from UNESCO.

As part of this effort, a soon to be released report by UNESCO’s Education Sector reviews the education systems in BRICS and highlights opportunities for mutual learning and cooperation. While these economies have witnessed tremendous advances in education in recent years, more attention is needed in the areas of quality and equity to ensure the best possible opportunities for children when they leave school.

The new report puts the spotlight on skills development, in particular technical and vocational education and training (TVET), which all BRICS have identified as a vital ingredient of more inclusive growth and sustainable development.