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Programme booklet: 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister's Conference (APREMC II)

APREMC II programme booklet

Programme booklet: 2nd Asia-Pacific Regional Education Minister's Conference (APREMC II)

cover of the programme bookletThe COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented disruption of education globally and in the Asia-Pacific region, severely impacting education delivery, learning outcomes, student engagement and their health and well-being, affecting vulnerable learners the most, resulting in a significant setback in progress towards achieving the SDG 4. It also caused a global and regional economic crisis, deepened poverty and inequities, coupled with global security concerns, environmental degradation and climate change to which Asia-Pacific countries are particularly prone. Overall, while the situation is diverse between and within countries of the region, the pandemic not only exacerbated pre-existing deep inequalities in access to education and a pre-existing learning crisis, but exposed significant existing weaknesses in the quality, relevance and inclusiveness of education and the overall fragility of education systems.

The majority of countries in the region experienced school closures of varying length. Learners experienced major learning loss and drop-out rates have increased, in particular among the most vulnerable and marginalized learners. The crisis revealed education system fragilities and limits in terms of inclusion, flexibility and resilience to shocks.

As an urgent and immediate action, countries need to ensure that all learners return to school and recover lost learning, ‘to prevent this generation of students from suffering permanent losses in their learning and future productivity, and to protect their ability to participate fully in society’. At the same time, this needs to go hand in hand with a rethinking and transformation of education and its systems to be resilient to withstand future shocks, and to become more equitable, inclusive, relevant and flexible to address the learning crisis and respond to shifting learning and training requirements, build more peaceful, inclusive, and sustainable societies, and deliver on the SDG4-Education 2030 commitments.

Against this backdrop, the Second Asia-Pacific Education Minister’s Conference (APREMC-II), held in Bangkok from 5 to 7 June 2022, is organized at a critical moment as most countries in the region have recently reopened their schools or are planning to do so, and are setting up learning recovery measures while also commencing reflections for a broader transformation of education systems, including through the preparatory processes towards the Transforming Education Summit.

APREMC II is co-organised by the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and the UNICEF Regional Offices for East Asia and the Pacific and for South Asia. The conference is co-hosted by the Ministry of Education of Thailand and organised with the kind collaboration of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. It is convened under the umbrella of the Asia-Pacific Learning and Education 2030+ (LE2030+) Networking Group.

The overarching theme of APREMC-II is ‘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 interlinked themes:

1.Achieving learning recovery and, in the longer term, improving learning outcomes for all (addressing the learning crisis);

2.Achieving a deep transformation of education systems and building resilience (e.g., more flexible, more inclusive, resilient, more digital, more environmentally friendly and sustainable systems);

3.Achieving increased and better investment in education and enablers for transformation.

APREMC II will discuss and make recommendations on how to achieve learning recovery and at the same time strengthen and transform education and its systems to become more equitable, inclusive, responsive, relevant and resilient with the overall objective to accelerate SDG4 implementation.

The conference will have two segments, a Technical Segment on Day 1 (June 5th 2022) and a High-level Segment on Days 2 and 3 (June 6th and 7th 2022).

The Technical Segment includes ten parallel thematic sessions, which aim to discuss and agree on priority action areas and strategies as well as policy pointers for the immediate learning recovery and for transforming education and its systems. Findings from the technical segments will feed into the discussions and dialogue at the High-level Segment the next day.

The high-level segment gives space for ministers and high-level officials to discuss, exchange ideas and good practices and identify priority areas for action in the region and their countries for learning recovery and transforming education and its systems.

This brochure presents the agenda of the Conference, provides an overview of each of the sessions as well as background information and links to policy briefs to inform the discussions. The brochure also includes some practical information and a statistical fact sheet.

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