Jun 23: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the G20 Education Ministers’ Meet held in Pune via video message today.
The Education Ministers’ meeting was chaired by the Indian Chair, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. 150 G20 delegates comprising Ministers from G20 nations, invitee countries and senior officials from International Organisations such as UNICEF, UNESCO & OECD were present at the Education Ministers’ meeting. A series of bilateral meetings were also held during the 4thEdWG meeting to strengthen bilateral cooperation in education and skill development to greater heights.
In his video message, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that education is not only the foundation upon which our civilization has been built, but it is also the architect of humanity’s future. The Prime Minister referred to the Education Ministers as the Sherpas and said that they are leading mankind in its effort for development, peace, and prosperity for all. Shri Modi highlighted that the Indian scriptures describe the role of education as the key to bringing joy. Reciting a Sanskrit Shlok which means ‘True knowledge gives humility, from humility comes worthiness, from worthiness one gets wealth, wealth enables a person to do good deeds, and, this is what brings joy’, the Prime Minister said that India has embarked on a holistic and comprehensive journey. Shri Modi emphasized that foundational literacy forms a strong base for the youth and India is combining it with technology. He highlighted the ‘National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy”, or the ‘Nipun Bharat’ initiative by the Government and expressed happiness that ‘Foundational Literacy and Numeracy’ has been identified as a priority by G20 as well. He also stressed working on it in a time-bound manner by 2030.
The Prime Minister emphasized the need to adapt and use new e-learning innovatively and said that the objective must be to provide quality education with better governance. He highlighted the several initiatives taken by the Government in this direction and mentioned ‘Study Webs of Active-learning for Young Aspiring Minds’, or ‘Swayam’, an online platform that hosts all courses from Class 9 to the post-graduate level and enables students to learn remotely while focussing on access, equity and quality. “With over 34 million enrolments and more than 9000 courses, it has become a very effective learning tool”, the Prime Minister added. He also mentioned the ‘Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing’ or ‘Diksha Portal’ which aims to deliver school education through distance learning. Shri Modi informed that it supports learning in 29 Indian and 7 foreign languages and has witnessed over 137 million course completions so far. Shri Modi also pointed out that India would be happy to share these experiences and resources, particularly with those in the Global South.
Welcoming the Education Ministers, delegates from G20 countries and officials of UNESCO, UNICEF & OECD to the opening session, Shri Pradhan said that the Education Working Group under G20 Indian Presidency has reiterated the shared commitments for joint action to improve the reach, quality and outcomes of education.
He stated that investing in education and skilling is investing in the progress of humanity. He expressed his happiness that G20 members and invited countries have come together collectively to bridge knowledge, skills and socio-economic gaps, empower citizens and foster a more equitable and prosperous world through lifelong learning opportunities.
He reiterated the Prime Minister’s vision of humanity’s welfare and quality education with better governance. Education must transcend geopolitical boundaries. We must collectively ensure that all the children and youth of the world benefit from holistic education and are equipped with 21st-century skills, he added.
He expressed hope to witness the positive impact of the outcomes, policy directions and commitments made during the 2023 G20 Education Ministers’ Meeting. He also pledged India’s support to the upcoming Brazilian Presidency. We stand ready to work with Brazil to address the educational challenges and also make the G20 Education Working Group platform a harbinger of positive change, he added.
Union Minister stated that the collaborative action under G20 India Presidency has transcended beyond the Ministerial engagement and has witnessed participation from 5.2 core stakeholders spread across school education, higher education & skill ecosystem. This truly embodies the spirit of One Earth, One Family, One Future, as emphasised by our theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, he added.
Later, in the day Union Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan held a press conference along with Brazilian Minister of Education H.E. Mr Camilo Santana; Dr Iwan Syahril, DG, Early Childhood Education, Primary Education and Secondary Education, Ministry of Culture, Education, Research and Technology, Indonesia; Mr Yoshiki Takeuchi; Deputy Secretary General, OECD; Mr Robert Jenkins Global Director for Education, UNICEF; Mr Borhene Chakroun, Director, UNESCO; Shri K. Sanjay Murthy, Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Government of India and Shri Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Department of School Education, Government of India.
While addressing the press conference, Brazilian Minister of Education HE Mr Camilo Santana congratulated Union Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and the Ministry for their exceptional work in hosting the 4th Education working group meeting. Mr Santana proposed three important topics for the next year’s agenda. Firstly, he emphasized the significance of teacher training, highlighting the need to invest in the professional development of educators to enhance the quality of education across G-20 nations. Secondly, he suggested establishing a sharing mechanism for the content of national platforms among member countries. This would enable countries to exchange valuable educational resources and insights, fostering collaboration and innovation in curriculum development and instructional materials. Lastly, Minister Santana emphasized the importance of community engagement for schools. He highlighted the need to involve local communities in the educational process, fostering partnerships and creating a supportive environment that enhances student learning outcomes.
In his speech, Dr Iwan Syahril, DG, of Early Childhood Education, Primary Education and Secondary Education, Ministry of Culture and Education, Indonesia and Co-chair for the G-20 Education Working Group, congratulated India for exceptional facilitation and warm hospitality received in the course of the 4th Education Working Group. He spoke fondly of India’s incredible cultural heritage, expressing his admiration for the rich and diverse traditions that make up the fabric of Indian society. Dr Syahril extended his gratitude to the Indian Presidency for their proactive role in advancing the agenda for education transformation in the G-20 countries. He appreciated the emphasis placed on Fundamental Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) and recognized its importance in fostering innovation and adaptability in education systems. Furthermore, Dr Syahril also highlighted India’s significant progress in driving the education agenda forward, surpassing previous efforts. He commended the nation’s focus on providing quality learning opportunities with a strong commitment to equity and inclusivity, ensuring that every learner has equal access to education regardless of their background.
The EdWG focused on the following 4 priority areas:
- Ensuring Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, especially in the context of blended learning
- Making Tech-enabled learning more inclusive, qualitative and collaborative at every level
- Building Capacities, promoting Life-long Learning in the Context of the Future of Work
- Strengthening Research, and promoting Innovation through richer collaboration and partnerships
The 4th Meeting of the G20 EdWG with the theme ‘Ensuring Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in the Context of Blended Learning’ held at Pune culminated in G20 Ministers meeting on 22nd June 2023.
As a precursor to the 4th Meeting of the G20 EdWG, the following activities were conducted:
- From 1st June 2023, Janbhagidari events were organised under the leadership of the Ministry of Education in all states and UTs. All the autonomous bodies such as Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, Navodaya Vidyalaya, NCERT, CBSE and state governments actively participated in conducting various kinds of activities to create awareness on FLN and G20.
- Total participation in Janbhagidari (From 1st June to 15th June 2023) – 5.2 Crore
- As a part of this, Shiksha Sankalp/ oaths are also being taken on the MyGov platform. Total Shiksha Sankalp/ oaths – 3.2 Lakh
- A pre-cursor seminar on ‘Accessible Science: Fostering Collaboration’ was organized in collaboration with IISER and ELSEVIER on 16th June 2023. A report titled “The status and relevance of research collaborations for development, considering G20 nations” was launched by MOS, Education, and Dr Subhas Sarkar. The report encapsulates essential insights into research collaborations.
- 2-Day National Conference on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy on 17th and 18th June at Savitribai Phule Pune University. The following two themes were discussed at the National Conference:
- Teaching Learning Approaches and Pedagogy for FLN in the Context of Multilingualism
- Capacity building and training of teachers in Blended Mod
The National Conference was inaugurated by MoS, Education, Smt Annapurna Devi and Ministers of Maharashtra Government, Shri Deepak Kesarkar and Shri Chandrakant Dada Patil. Expert panel discussions and presentations of best practices by states were done on both themes.
- An exhibition showcasing innovative practices being adopted in education and FLN, Digital initiatives, Research & Skill Development, in particular by the States, UTs and other agencies in the field of education was inaugurated on 17th June at Savitribai Phule University, Pune. Around 100 exhibitors participated in the exhibition.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Union MoS Smt Annapurna Devi and Education Minister of Maharashtra Government Shri Deepak Kesarkar and Shri Chandrakant Dada Patil. Till the 21st, more than 1.5 lakh visitors including school children have visited the exhibition with full vigour and interest.
- A seminar was organised on the topic ‘Ensuring Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in the Context of Blended Learning’ on 19th June 2023. The seminar was inaugurated by Shri Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education and External Affairs. G20 member countries and international organisations participated in the seminar and discussed various pertinent issues concerning foundational literacy and numeracy. The keynote speaker was Prof Manjul Bhargava, a member of the NCF committee and Professor at Princeton University.