News

Youth Statement on investing in education and youth

12/06/2020

Youth Representative to the SDG Education2030 Steering Committee, Victoria Ibiwoye, presented a joint Youth Statement on Investing in Education and Youth to the virtual meeting of the Steering Committee on 4 June 2020. The Statement echoes the theme of the Meeting of “Safeguarding investment in education in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis”.

The joint statement has been put together through consultations with diverse youth and youth groups, including the regional youth representatives to the 2018 Global Education Meeting in 2018 and participants of the 2019 UNESCO Youth Forum.

Education is a key topic affecting young peoples’ lives. Young people have first-hand experiences of the very education challenges that are being discussed at global meetings and they would like a say in the decisions that shape their future. Broadening spaces for youth voices to shape the decisions made about their education is vital. 

In the statement, youth identify two key challenges arising from the COVID19 learning crisis: (i) Exacerbation of inequalities; (ii) Socio-economic fallout.

They have also identified two key opportunities where they would like to work together with governments and decision-makers on: (i) Redefining the relevance of education; (ii) Investment in and prioritization of youth.

Together, they call upon governments, donors and decision-makers to:

  1. Leave no one behind. Those most vulnerable before COVID-19 are more affected now than ever.
  2. Guarantee adequate financing for education systems, including investment to achieve connectivity for all, and continuous teacher development.
  3. Ensure that every teacher is adequately valued and trained to deliver quality distance learning and to be proficient in interactive teaching as well as 21st century skills
  4. Reset current education systems and make them fit for purpose with a focus on disseminating 21st century skills and competences
  5. Promote free and public education of high quality that is accessible at all levels and end student debt. Education is a fundamental human right, not a commodity.
  6. Narrow the education divide within and between countries and regions through distributive policies and increasing the weight of education in foreign aid schemes
  7. Invest in and prioritize youth and students through representation
    • This means bringing young people and students into decision-making processes and to co-create solutions together for a better future
  8. Invest in and prioritize youth through funding and support
    • We recommend that no less than 50% of all the funding to education should be co-decided with young people and students. We further recommend that young people working on the ground to achieve quality inclusive education should be prioritized with at least 25% of the total funding accorded
  9. Aim for a #BetterNormal instead of “back to normal” with sustainability being the leading principle.

Read the full statement, and watch the summary video.