UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and partners launch ‘2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister’s Conference’ (APREMC-II), 5 – 7 June 2022, Bangkok

Banner for the launch of APREMC 2

UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and partners launch ‘2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister’s Conference’ (APREMC-II), 5 – 7 June 2022, Bangkok

Conference to address urgent need for post-pandemic learning recovery for over 800 million children and comprehensive ‘education transformation’ in the region

The UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok), the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, and the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia are jointly launching the 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Minister’s Conference (APREMC-II) in Bangkok, from 5 through 7 June 2022. The event will be co-hosted by the Thailand Ministry of Education, with generous support provided by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan and the Thailand Equitable Education Fund (EEF).

Objectives
APREMC-II is the follow-up edition of the high-level ‘Asia-Pacific Regional Education Conference’ (APREC, 2014), which discussed issues, challenges and priorities for education in the region beyond 2015, and developed Asia-Pacific regional recommendations for the post-2015 global education agenda. This year’s three-day, invitation-only event will revolve around the theme ‘Education Recovery and Transformation towards more Responsive, Relevant and Resilient Education Systems: Accelerating Progress towards SDG 4-Education 2030’.

The Conference is framed around three critically important and interlinked objectives: 

  1. Ensuring safe return to schools and achieving learning recovery that will improve learning outcomes for all; 
  1. Achieving a deep transformation of education systems and building into them enhanced capacities of resilience (e.g. more flexible, inclusive, resilient, digitally equipped, blended, and more environmentally friendly and sustainable systems); and 
  1. Achieving increased and better investment in education and for enablers of transformation. 

Children study while they follow social distancing in the open area at a primary Government school in Muttuck, Assam.
Photo credit: UNICEF/Prashanth Vishwanathan

The Conference will serve as a platform for education stakeholders to share successful and innovative education initiatives, discuss challenges, and explore opportunities to accelerate learning for all children and youth, especially for the socio-economically disadvantaged, the disabled, and young girls throughout the region who have dropped out of school and are at increased risk of never returning to classrooms. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the region with untoward challenges, it has notably exacerbated a pre-existing learning crisis in the region. Prior to the pandemic, 27 million youth in the region remained functionally illiterate, 95% of whom resided in South Asia. The COVID-19 crisis also revealed many education systems’ fragilities and limits in terms of inclusion, flexibility, and resilience. Asia and the Pacific reflect a global crisis as well: early estimates suggest that the proportion of children around the world who cannot read or write a simple text by the age of 10 will increase from 53% in 2019 to 67% in 2021[1]. The World Bank projects that interruptions in education may result in financial losses valued at US$15 trillion in terms of children’s future earnings, thus having a devastating long-term effect on wellbeing and quality-of-life prospects for an entire generation of learners. 

The priority actions and recommendations that will emerge from APREMC-II will serve as building blocks for the Bangkok 2022 Statement - Towards an Effective Learning Recovery for All and Transforming Education in Asia-Pacific. The statement will constitute a ‘roadmap’ for the region seeking to rebuild and transform its ailing education systems. It will be shared at the SDG4 Education 2030 High-Level Steering Committee meeting in July 2022, and then feed into the upcoming global UN Transforming Education Summit (TES) in September 2022 in New York, to help generate tangible actions and partnerships for the transformation of education for all learners, both regionally and globally. 

UNICEF and UNESCO are urgently calling on Asia-Pacific governments and education partners to take immediate action across the region to ensure that every learner reaches his/her full potential. Nobody should be left behind and miss out on their right to education and learning. The region must act now, both individually and collectively, to reverse the looming Asia-Pacific learning crisis. 

Date and Location

5 through 7 June 2022; hybrid format, on site at the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, and remotely via MS Teams platform; main event by invitation only; side events open to the public with advance registration.

Media/Press Participation

APREMC-II is an invitation-only event, but selected, pre-registered members of the English- and Thai-language press will be admitted for language-specific press conferences, as well as for coverage of the opening ceremonies at the Shangri-La Hotel on the morning of Mon., 6 June, where Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will be presiding.

For more information on the Thai-media, advance press conference of Wed., 1 June, hosted by the Thailand Ministry of Education at the Ministry of Education, contact: komutee(at)yahoo(dot)com

For more information and registration for the English-media press conference being held at the Shangri-La Hotel on the morning of Mon., 6 June, contact: 

Additional resources: (Please see attached files below.)
APREMC-II Press release (in English)
APREMC-II Fact Sheet and Key Messages (in English)
Statements from the press conference (in English and Thai)

Visit APREMC-II's website for more information and resources:
https://apasdg4education2030.org/apremc2022/