Eswatini hosts high level roundtable to prepare for Transforming Education Summit
04 August 2022
The roundtable is the last of a series of national consultations undertaken by the Ministry of Education with support from UNICEF and UNESCO.
On the 4th of August 2022, the Minister of Education, Hon. Lady Howard-Mabuza hosted a high level round table discussion for policy makers, development partners and captains of industry as part of Eswatini’s national preparations for the Transforming Education Summit to be held on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2022.
The Transforming Education Summit is an initiative of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, which seeks to mobilize political ambition, action, solutions and solidarity to transform education and find solutions for recovering from the learning losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic with a view to revitalize national and global efforts to achieve targets under Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education.
In Eswatini, a steering committee, set up by the Minister of Education and supported by UNICEF and UNESCO, has been conducting consultations with various stakeholders across the country to contribute to a shared vision, commitment and alignment of action to transform education.
Minister Howard-Mabuza noted that the Transforming Education Summit has been given precedence by the United Nations due to evidence from the impact of COVID-19 across counties that has worsened existing challenges in the education sector. “The impact of prolonged school closures has also limited children’s right to education and deprived them of opportunities to learn and develop the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing society,” said the Minister. “The sector is still recovering from educational losses due to COVID-19, civil unrest and tropical storms which have further widened existing inequalities in the country’s education system.”
Mr. Wachira challenged participants to reimagine education to be more fit for current challenges. “We are here because we must be concerned for our children and their future,” said the Resident Coordinator. “We are here because education holds the key to building a more equal, secure and prosperous future, and because we owe our children a future.”
He explained that transforming education is not just about transforming the school system but includes other spaces where education takes place. “We need to recognize more the various other spaces within which our children are gaining instruction, stimulation and learning and figure out how to account for those as part of our education system,” said the Resident Coordinator.
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization