As a result of the major transformations that arise from globalization, digitalization and more complex and diverse societies, we need to develop education policies that equip our children, young people and adults for an uncertain and changing future.
How can we achieve a future where all citizens are fully involved and integrated? How can we ensure high-quality and inclusive education systems in such a dynamic and rapidly changing society? What skills and education policies are needed to foster an active citizenship that is committed to sustainable development? What measures ought to be taken to establish articulated mechanisms for the international financing of education?
With the aim to discuss these issues more deeply, the G20 Argentine Presidency proposed the creation of the G20 Education Working Group (EdWG) within the Sherpa Track.
During 2018, the EdWG held meetings on April, June, and September, and hosted a Ministerial Meeting on 5 September, reaching the first ever G20 Education Ministers Declaration.
The Education Working Group is chaired by the Argentine Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology and addressed the following main issues:
Skills for Life and Work
In a scenario of deep social transformation, it is fundamental to discuss the education pillars for the foreseeable future. In this context, there is a pressing need to identify the skills that will be required to achieve full integration of citizens to society, particularly in the labour market, guaranteeing their full human development throughout their lives. These challenges drive us to reflect on cognitive, non-cognitive and digital skills, and how we can promote them through innovative and inclusive education policies and pedagogical strategies that engage students and promote multiple learning pathways.
Financing Education and International Cooperation
The G20 Ministers of Education acknowledge the role of international mechanisms for financing education and encourage their complementarity to address different national needs. They also highlight the importance of allocating and spending resources more effectively and efficiently by strengthening governance. Besides, they recognise the value of strengthening the international cooperation and address common challenges together by learning from each other's experiences, sharing knowledge and best practices, and developing joint initiatives at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. Moreover, they commit to facilitating the internationalisation of education, including the cross-border recognition of qualifications and skills, and the mobility of students, teachers and researchers.
Joint efforts with the G20 Employment Working Group (EWG)
The EdWG and the EWG held meetings on June and September, followed by the Joint Ministerial Meeting on 6 September, that reached the G20 Education, Labor and Employment Ministers Declaration. This milestone highlights the importance of creating coordinated education and employment policies so as to face the challenges posed by the Future of Work, one of the priorities established by Argentina’s G20 Presidency. Furthermore, the Declaration contains an annex on guidelines on skills for an inclusive future, which deals with the promotion of “21st century skills”, including critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, communication, flexibility, collaboration; entrepreneurial skills and digital skills, such as programming, big data analysis, coding and robotics in all levels of education and work environments.
Gender, vulnerable and underrepresented groups
In both cases, we have emphasised the need to prioritise skills development among vulnerable and underrepresented groups, and our commitment to address inequality through policies that ensure inclusive and equitable opportunities for all.
Moreover, within the framework of the vision pursued by Argentina’s G20 Presidency of placing gender equality and women’s empowerment at the centre of the agenda, we have reinforced our commitment to continue encouraging equal access to an inclusive, equitable and quality education within safe learning environments at all educational levels for girls and women, while fostering their participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.