G20 education ministers hold extraordinary meeting

G20 education ministers on Saturday held an extraordinary meeting to discuss measures taken to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“As a result of the pandemic, we have seen the development and advancement of a variety of distance learning, e-learning, and other digital education solutions, within different country contexts,” Saudi Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh said during the talks.

He added: “We strongly support public and private efforts to sustain education continuity for all by leveraging new pedagogical methods, as well as diverse modalities of and approaches to instruction.

“To prepare more effectively for potential future disruptions, we commit to working toward stronger and more innovative approaches to build resilience into our education systems and improve teaching and learning.

“For this purpose, we support the development of educational content, technological and digital solutions and other means facilitating education continuity, as appropriate in country contexts and with respect to data security and privacy.

“As proactive approaches should be taken in the short and long term, we commit to continuing discussions within the Education Working Group to expand our collective understanding of the effects that crises can have on education and of countries’ respective preparations and responses.” he said.

Topics on the agenda included experiences in reducing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, and lessons learned to ensure continuity and build resilience into education systems, the Saudi Press Agency reported ahead of the meeting.

Saudi Arabia pledged to continue working with all G20 members, invited countries, and regional and international organizations to support global education systems. The pandemic has led to the closure of educational institutions worldwide due to physical distancing measures.

Since the Kingdom assumed the G20 Presidency in December 2019, it has managed to host virtual extraordinary global summit meetings with world leaders to tackle the COVID-19 health crisis and its economic repercussions. 

The 15th G20 Summit is set to take place in Riyadh in November.

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