New Delhi, Nov 17 (PTI) Education ministers from countries in the Global South on Friday reiterated their shared commitment to overcome the digital divide for all learners by addressing the barriers to technological infrastructure and work collectively to develop affordable technology ecosystems and learning resources, including in local languages.
During the second edition of the Voice of Global South Summit, hosted by India, the ministers underlined the central role of teachers and education staff all over the world in promoting education and the need to foster an environment, including through capacity building and exchange programmes, that will enable them to thrive in their profession.
The ministers also agreed to encourage collaborative solutions, innovations, sharing of best practices to promote quality teaching, learning and skilling as well as foster academic collaborations among educational institutions and encouraging student and faculty exchange programmes.
Ministers and dignitaries of 14 countries from the Global South -- Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Georgia, Tunisia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malawi, Myanmar, Republic of Palau, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, Albania, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon -- participated virtually in the session and shared their insights.
"The education ministers from the participating countries agreed on the need to work together for an accessible, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future through quality education," a Union Education Ministry statement said.
"Underlining the importance of investing in human capital development and to address the global skill divide, the Ministers agreed on the need to provide skilling, reskilling and upskilling opportunities to create a future-ready workforce aligned to the demands of the industry," it added.
The education ministers also reiterated their shared commitment to overcome the digital divide for all learners by addressing the barriers to technological infrastructure and work collectively to develop technology ecosystems and learning resources, including in local languages, that are affordable and easily accessible.
"They underlined the central role of all teachers and education staff all over the world in promoting education and the need to foster an environment including through capacity building and exchange programmes that will enable teachers and staff to thrive in their profession," the statement said.
India's Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan noted that the New Education Policy (NEP) is a philosophical document which "can act as a template for emerging economies towards developing comprehensive strategies and agile policies".
Other ministers in their addresses shared success stories, the challenges faced and the strategies to address those. They unequivocally commended India's effort to strengthen cooperation in education and skilling among the countries of the Global South.
The summit builds on the foundation laid during the inaugural Voice of Global South Summit in January that focused on uniting voices and purposes from 125 countries of the Global South, reflecting India's commitment to addressing key priorities of the developing world, particularly in education and skill development.
The second Voice of Global South Summit aims to serve as a platform to share the outcomes of various G20 meetings, sustain momentum generated from the previous summit and discuss ways to achieve shared aspirations for inclusive and equitable international development.
Deliberations will also focus on harnessing digital technologies to bridge the digital divide and strengthening cooperation in developing life, technical and vocational skills.
The outcomes of the summit are expected to inform the deliberations at the upcoming G20 Virtual Summit hosted by India on November 22.
Eight ministerial sessions are scheduled during the summit.
The Summit -- with the theme "Together, for Everyone's Growth, with Everyone's Trust" -- will focus on sharing with countries of the Global South the key outcomes achieved in various G20 meetings over the course of India's presidency.
Key ideas and suggestions emerging from the members of the Global South at the summit will also be informed during the G20 Virtual Summit. PTI GJS SZM