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Commonwealth Education Leaders Gather in London for 22nd Conference

International News

Commonwealth Education Leaders Gather in London for 22nd Conference

Education ministers and senior officials are set to convene in London for the 22nd Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (22CCEM) meeting from May 16-17, 2024. The gathering aims to explore avenues for further empowering the 2.6 billion citizens of the Commonwealth through inclusive and equitable learning opportunities across all skill levels and life stages.

At Marlborough House, government ministers and senior officials will exchange ideas on addressing uncertainties in education financing, fostering partnerships, and deliberating on commitments and reforms. They will evaluate the current state of the education sector while charting a course for accelerated progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4.

During the 22CCEM summit, ministers will discuss strategic actions needed to tackle education inequity, particularly for young people, women, individuals with disabilities, and those living in poverty.

Efforts in the past seem to be yielding positive results. The Commonwealth Secretariat recently unveiled the Global Youth Development Index Update Report 2023, indicating that “more than two-thirds of countries worldwide demonstrated improvement”.

Rethinking Education: A Timely Meeting

Under the theme ‘Driving Resilience, Equity, and Skills for an Inclusive Future’, Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, urged ministers to remove barriers hindering access to education and to promote lifelong learning.

She remarked:

“The sheer scale of what can be accomplished through technology has transformed the landscape for policymakers, educators, and learners. Meaningfully empowering Commonwealth citizens in an increasingly digital world requires bold actions and ambitions.”

“We must rethink education to bolster youth employability and empowerment if we are to fulfill promises made to the 1.6 billion young people of the Commonwealth. Moreover, education extends beyond youth. We share a duty to foster and advocate for lifelong learning opportunities.”

The 22CCEM meeting, chaired by Dr. Ezekiel Machogu EGH, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Education, aligns with the focus of the 2024 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Samoa. It underscores the Commonwealth’s dedication to collective action towards resilience, sustainability, and a shared future for present and future generations.

In support of the Commonwealth Year of Youth, Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi will deliver a keynote address and engage with delegates. Satyarthi, a globally renowned leader, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his tireless advocacy against the exploitation of children and youth. Through numerous organizations, he has been steadfastly working to improve child welfare for decades.

Speakers from UNESCO, the World Bank, the Commonwealth of Learning, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and regional bodies such as the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) will also address the delegates.

In the lead-up to the 22CCEM, the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) will host a series of strategic policy discussions as part of its vice-chancellors summit. The newly established ACU-led Commonwealth Higher Education Taskforce will advance the outcomes from these discussions, which will inform the subsequent 22CCEM meeting.

In his comments on the future of higher education ahead of the ACU summit, the Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Prof Colin Riordan, said:

“Ensuring inclusive, quality higher education for all will require collaboration amongst partners, institutions, and governments that transcends national borders. Universities are at the forefront of driving solutions to some of the most pressing global challenges that define our time, through their pathbreaking research, teaching, and community engagement.”

“At 22CCEM, we look forward to continuing to highlight the pressing need for sustained and increased funding in higher education – an essential component for global sustainable development, strengthening our democracies, and lifting lives across the Commonwealth.”

During the meeting, the Secretary-General will also update the delegates on the various initiatives and work programs the Commonwealth Secretariat implements to support member countries.

Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a seasoned multimedia Award Winning journalist with 11 years of experience in broadcast and writing. She is recognized for her expertise in the field and holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute, which has equipped her with a strong foundation in business principles. Sarah's commitment to professional development is evident through her continuous pursuit of knowledge and skills. She has obtained a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News, an esteemed organization dedicated to empowering women in the media industry. In 2020, she successfully completed a Course in Wikimedia, demonstrating her proficiency as one of the few Wikipedia Editors in the country. To further enhance her reporting capabilities, Sarah has also acquired a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF). This specialized training has equipped her with a deeper understanding of gender-related issues and their portrayal in the media. Throughout her career, Sarah has contributed her talent to various media houses, including six radio stations, where she has showcased her versatility and adaptability. Her most recent engagements include Galaxy FM 100.2 and Radio 4. Additionally, she has served as a writer for Andariya Magazine, further demonstrating her ability to excel in different mediums. Sarah's expertise extends beyond journalism. She has worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the revitalized Uganda Airlines, leveraging her skills to effectively communicate the airline's message in the digital sphere. Her passion for digital media and technology makes her a valuable asset in the evolving landscape of communication. In her entrepreneurial pursuits, Sarah is the proud owner of TheUgPost, a renowned media organization with a strong presence in Uganda and a global reach. Through this platform, she continues to make a significant impact by providing reliable and engaging content to a wide audience. Sarah won the Top Environmental Journalist Award 2023 from Uganda Biodiversity Fund. Twitter;

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