- Thursday, 10 December 2020 – 11:00 am (-3 UCT)
- Zoom: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/j/95688867230
- Password: 523359
- YouTube: https://youtu.be/wgjmcehkMvY
The global pandemic of Covid-19 has brought about an unprecedented crisis on all fronts. In education, this resulted in massive closures of educational institutions in more than 190 countries worldwide to prevent the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact. According to UNESCO1As of late November 2020, 224,068,338 learners are affected worldwide by Covid-19 related school closure. Of these, more than 166,552,325 were students from Latin America and the Caribbean2.
This situation has provoked an acute emergency for national education systems. The governments of the region, led by the Ministries of Education, immediately implemented distance learning modalities, supporting educational staff and mobilising parents, caregivers, and communities, with a view to ensuring the continuity of learning as an immediate response.
At the regional level, multiple instances of technical and political dialogue have been convened on a regular basis, which clearly demonstrated strong commitment and corresponding action by Governments with the support of international, regional, and national organisations. The various dialogues held during the first few months of the pandemic then highlighted 3 common central themes that require immediate and longer-term political commitment and programmatic support:
- Significant advances and innovation in the area of distance education have been made through the use of technologies during the first few months more than at any other time. However, there are still critical challenges to guarantee equity and inclusion, considering the most vulnerable and marginalised population groups;
- There is a need to move towards flexible educational systems, with a focus on preparedness; and
- A paradigm shift towards interdisciplinarity and intersectoriality is required beyond education sector-focused planning and implementation. Cooperation and collaboration across different sectors and actors are paramount.
In other words, this crisis presents itself an unprecedented opportunity to transform national education systems into one of resilience, focusing on the four pillars of SDG-Education 2030: equity, inclusion, quality and lifelong learning and making the SDG-Education 2030 Agenda more relevant and necessary than ever.
Regional Webinar Series
It is against this background that in collaboration with the Regional Education Group for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Caribbean Community (Caricom), UNESCO launched on 17 April, a series of webinars to promote knowledge and information exchange, as well as policy dialogue, in order to respond to the pandemic, focusing on the 4 pillars of SDG-Education 2030: equity, inclusion, quality and lifelong learning.
The objective of this initiative is to support the Ministries of Education and the different educational actors for the development, management, and dissemination of relevant evidence and technical tools, and inform the immediate response and medium and long-term actions towards the 2030 goal. Considering the need for interdisciplinary response, besides education, the dimensions of culture, health, protection, gender, diversity and other areas will also be touched upon during the series.
Considering each sub-region’s specific contexts, Latin America and the Caribbean, 2 parallel webinar series, have been organised.
Each webinar has been recorded and made available with presentations and reference materials on UNESCO’s portal dedicated to Covid-19 (https://es.unesco.org/fieldoffice/santiago/covid-19-education-alc). At the same time, for each webinar, in-depth country experiences will be further explored and documented in Spanish and English to promote sustainable knowledge exchange and policy dialogue with regional public goods across the region and contribute to the same at the global level.
The Regional Webinar: What have we learned from our response to Covid-19 and where to, from here in Latin America and the Caribbean Region?
Lessons learned and educational innovations and transformations: A joint regional webinar
After 9 months into the global pandemic outbreak, some countries in the region are progressively reopened schools and/ or planning to do so in a safe, secure manner, while others are continuing with distance learning due to the ongoing health concerns. What is common to both contexts is the realisation that (1) the dramatic shifts have taken place in the education sector within the shortest time from time immemorial, that (2) multi-sectoral response is required, and that (3) the crisis can and will serve as a prime opportunity to transform and innovate national education systems.
It is against this context that the region of Latin America and the Caribbean will share and reflect on the lessons learned to date and discuss and debate on critical innovations and transformations necessary to move forward towards national, regional, and international goals, including SDG-Education 2030.
- To share and reflect on the lessons learned.
- To discuss and debate on critical innovations and transformations necessary to move towards realising the Agenda 2030 with a focus on SDG4.
Facilitator: Paula Klenner, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean
11:00 – 11:05 Welcome and introduction: Claudia Uribe Salazar, Director, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean
11:05 – 11:15 Keynote: What have we learned and where to, from here? Pablo Gentili, Secretary for Educational Cooperation and Priority Actions, Ministry of Education, Argentina
11:15 – 11:25 Video: Our collective journey this year: Key messages from the webinar coordinators
11:25 – 12:00 Session I: Roundtable Discussion: What have we learned?
- Hon. Emmalin Pierre, Minister of Education, Grenada.
- Robert Cano, Vice-Minister of Education, Paraguay (tbc)
- Manuel Calcagni, teacher, Chile (tbc)
- Caribbean representative of educator (tbc)
- Kaysia Kerr, Chief Executive Officer, National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) of Jamaica (tbc)
- Maritza Sevilla, representative of parents, Costa Rica
- Takeaway messages
Moderator: UNICEF, co-coordinator, Regional Education Group
12:00 – 12:10 Youth Perspectives
- Priscila Pérez, Plan International (TBC)
- Representative from the Caribbean (TBC)
12:10 – 13:30 Session II: Where to, from here: Innovations and transformations
Panel 1: Quality and relevance: Monitoring learning (30 minutes)
- Carlos Henríquez, Coordinador, LLEC
- Dr Didicus Jules, Director-General, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (tbc)
- Ernesto Treviño, Professor and Researcher, Faculty of Education, the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (tbc)
Panel 2: Resilient system: evidence and finance (30 minutes)
- Pablo Cevallos, Director, Office for Latin America, International Institute for Educational Planning
- Dr Canute Thompson, Director, Caribbean Center for Education Planning
- Q&A (20 minutes)
Moderator: Save the Children, Co-coordinator, Regional Education Group
13:30 – 13:45 Summary, Key Messages, and Closing
- Dr Laurette Bristol, Manager, Human Resource Department, Caricom
- Yayoi Segi-Vltchek, Chief, Section Education 2030, Migration and Displacement, UNESCO OREALC.