30 June: Side Meetings

c shutterstock_Roman Samborskyi

30 June: Pre-Summit Ministerial Segment II Side Meetings

8:30-10:00 Room IX 

Rewiring Education for People & Planet  

Education Commission, Dubai Cares

We are grappling with an unprecedented series of critical challenges. The devastating effects of the pandemic, rising food and energy costs, new and ongoing conflicts, and the impacts of climate change are deepening poverty and vulnerability worldwide. These compounding global crises are underscored by a silent crisis in education, where the expansion of learning poverty and skills deprivation means SDG4 is off track and threatens acute, and potentially chronic, consequences for individuals, communities, and nations.

An education transformation would dramatically change this picture. Education is not just the birthright of every child, it is also a powerful catalyst for progress in poverty reduction, health and sustainable development and progress in these areas can accelerate advances in education. Amidst competing priorities and limited resources, the time has come to stop thinking in silos and to start recognizing the interconnectedness of the SDGS and the powerful benefits of linking education to efforts across other sectors to fuel a virtuous cycle of progress. We need deep and substantive cross-sectoral collaboration within and outside of education to create a more sustainable, prosperous, and equitable world. This does not just mean working together to address symptoms of the challenge; it requires thinking together to reimagine how our systems – education, health, agriculture, child protection, energy, and others – can deliver on our promises to this and future generations.

Governments, aid donors, and international financial institutions must act decisively to challenge the status quo of sector silos and competition for resources. We must forge new and meaningful and partnerships to seize win-win opportunities for transformative results.

The side meeting seeks to mobilize support for “win-win” solutions for education, and explore how governments and other stakeholders, inside and outside of education, can take these solutions forward.


8:00 - 10:00 Room XI

Meeting on Priority Africa 2022-2029 Education flagship programmes 

UNESCO Education, and Priority Africa and External Relations Sector

The High-Level Breakfast Meeting held under the theme “Transforming Africa through Education and the valuing of its History” will highlight the strategic role of education in the context of the implementation of UNESCO Operational Strategy for Priority Africa (2022-2029).

The event will provide an opportunity to exchange on the education-related UNESCO Priority Africa Flagship Programmes (Campus Africa and the General History of Africa); showcase “voices from the ground” and provide a platform for North-South-South cooperation in reinforcing higher education in Africa and the integration of the General History of Africa in education systems in Africa and in the diaspora.

Speakers: Mr Ydo Yao, Director, International Bureau of Education (IBE), UNESCO; Mr Firmin Edouard Matoko, Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relations, UNESCO; Ms Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education, UNESCO; Prof. George Magoha, Cabinet Secretary for Education Kenya; Ms. Chido Cleopatra Mpemba, Special Envoy on Youth to the African Union Chairperson, Representative of the African Union Commission.


8:30 - 9:30 Room VIII

Benchmarking for Progress: National SDG4 benchmarks fulfilling our neglected commitment 

UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report and UNESCO Institute of Statistics

As technical co-leads of Functional Area 2 on data and monitoring for the High-Level Steering Committee feeding into the Summit, the GEM Report and UIS are continuing their work helping countries set SDG4 benchmarks for progress for seven indicators between now and 2030. At the pre-summit, a side-event will discuss benchmarking for progress, featuring insights from countries on their experiences aligning their benchmarks with their education sector plans, and using them for reporting, filling data gaps and promoting dialogue with others.

The Pre-Summit provides a key moment for countries and key SDG 4 stakeholders to take stock of progress towards SDG 4, this side event co-hosted by the UIS and the GEM Report will offer an opportunity to build momentum around the development of national benchmarks for measuring progress towards SDG 4 by reporting back on the progress made, the lessons learned and the ways forward for monitoring education systems and policies in 2022 and beyond, especially in view of the Transforming Education Summit convened to take place in September 2022.  The event will feature the voices of education policy makers and representatives from countries and regional organizations tasked with implementing, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of education policies and plans to achieve SDG 4. Speakers will share insights on the process of setting national benchmarks and their alignment with education sector plans, and the future use of benchmarks for reporting, filling data gaps, and promoting policy dialogue within countries and between countries.

Speakers: Dankert Vedeler, Chair of the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Silvia Montoya, Director, UIS, Manos Antoninis, Director, GEM Report, MOE Representatives Egypt, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Latvia 


13:00-15:00 7th floor Restaurant  

Towards the World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE): Transforming education starts in the early years (by invitation only) 

UNESCO, the Government of Uzbekistan, Lego Foundation, ECDAN, World Bank, ILO, UNICEF and OECD

A powerful set of neuroscientific and economic evidence over the past 20 years now shows that early childhood is a critical stage of human development. When children have the best possible start in life, they are much more likely to grow up to reach their full potential. There has been a significant movement to improve the lives of young children making early childhood care and education a key focus area in a range of commitments, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the SDG4 - Education 2030 agenda.

In November 2022, to further rally policymakers, educators and teachers, families and caregivers, donors, researchers, civil society organizations, social partners and all stakeholders in the pursuit of accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.2 on quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education, the UNESCO General Conference at its 41st Session approved the Government of Uzbekistan’s proposal to host a World Conference on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). At the conclusion of the World Conference, it is expected that Member States will adopt an outcome document, tentatively called the “Tashkent Framework for Action,” comprising agreed-upon, concrete and feasible strategies, priorities, partnerships, and actions required to accelerate achievement of SDG 4.2 and other early childhood-related SDG targets. The Framework for Action will also include a process of continuous policy dialogue, stakeholder engagement, and monitoring and evaluation of progress. The outcome document will be informed by the Transformation Education Summit outcome document.  

This side meeting will:

  • Recall the critical importance of early childhood care and education in transforming education and learning agenda in the future  
  • Seek and mobilize a political commitment at ministerial level to the participatory process leading to the world conference on  
  • Identify key messages related to ECCE for consideration in the outcome document of the Pre-Summit  


13:00-15:00 Room VI 

Transforming Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with FAIR OEERs, Digital Innovation, and Diamond Partnerships 

Sustainable Development Solutions Network, SDG Academy, The Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, and Mission 4.7

This event will bring forth speakers from Governments, the UN, Academia and the private sector to discuss the importance of Digital Innovation and Diamond Partnerships around  FAIR Open Educational Resource Repositories (OERRs). We make recommendations on their applications as the basis for the achievement of SDG Target 4.7, create access to SDG education and training at any stage of life, in any corner of the planet.

The purpose of the meeting is to:

  • Facilitate dialogue on transformative digital innovation for ESD, bringing together experts and knowledge from around the world;
  • Highlight evidence-based practice and potential of FAIR OEERs, Digital Innovation and Diamond Partnerships;  
  • Encourage commitments in planning and investments in FAIR OEERs, Digital Innovation and Diamond Partnerships.

Speakers: Simon Harris, Irish Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science; Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University and President of SDSN Moderators; Patrick Paul Walsh Full Professor at University College Dublin and Vice President for Education at SDSN; Ambassador Gerard Keown, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the OECD and UNESCO; Niki Kerameus, Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Greece; Mrs. Samira Benaballah,  Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection; Zeynep Varoglu, Programme Specialist & Coordinator of the OER Dynamic Coalition, UNESCO; Thanos Giannakopoulos, Chief, Dag Hammarskjöld UN Library; Jayashri Sarah Wyatt | Chief, Education Outreach Section, United Nations Academic Impact; Trine Jensen, Manager Digital Transformation in and of Higher Education at the IAU; Radhika Iyengar, Center for Sustainable Development, Earth Institute, Columbia University;  Laura Czerniewicz, Director of the Center for Innovation in Learning and Teacher, University of Cape Town; Niamh Brennan, Trinity College Dublin and OpenAlRE; Nicole Allen,  Director, SPARC USA; Claire McGuire, Policy and Research Office. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA); Cable Green, Director of Open Knowledge, Creative Commons; John Farrar, Director of Education, Google for Education  (TBC); Caroline Mol, Senior Partner Manager at 2U; Brighton Kaoma, SDSN Youth; Sam Loni, Director of Global Schools; Amanda Abrom, Program Manager, Global Schools.  


13:00-15:00 Room VIII

21st Century Skills Development in the Mediterranean: A “whole-systems approach” to promote skills recognition and mobility 

Agence Française de Développement, Center for Mediterranean Integration, Policy Center for the New South, Qatar Foundation, and Union for the Mediterranean

In a global economic context where the changes brought about by the green and digital transitions are creating new opportunities, there are also many uncertainties regarding the jobs of the future and the skills that will be needed for these new jobs.

The current situation is already worrying, especially in the Mediterranean region, since young people are graduating without having acquired the right mix of knowledge and skills that could allow them to integrate properly into changing labor markets. Having an academic qualification is no longer enough to ensure privileged access to more options to the job market as access to jobs require more and more an active role by universities, governments, and industry - creating a paradoxically increasing relationship between having a university degree and being unemployed.

This is a wicked problem with many dimensions such as the number of graduates increasing when compared to the absorption capacity of the economies, and a gap between competences and skills offered by education and those demanded by enterprises. These factors, among others, have resulted in structural youth under- and unemployment rates, with extremely high rates in the MENA region - at around 26%, the highest in the world - especially amongst graduates and researchers, affecting those that would be best placed to contribute to the economic growth of Mediterranean countries. Moreover, the rate of young people aged between 15 to 24 in NEET situations (Not in Employment, Education or Training) is very high throughout the region (at around 30% in Morocco for example).

It is thus essential to invest massively in education by focusing on skills development; including skills for work, through stronger links between the labor markets (private sector) and the tertiary education system (including vocational training), and the so-called 21st century skills - such as socio-emotional skills, problem solving, teamwork, empathy, compassion, mutual and intercultural understanding. Indeed, these skills allow not only for a better integration into labor markets and a greater ability to adapt to current and future changes, but also to strengthen the citizenship of individuals through a greater ability to participate in public life.

The session will focus on skills development, including ways to foster it through mobility - of individuals, knowledge and skills - and skills recognition at all levels, including vocational training and informal systems. Experts from institutions and governments in the Mediterranean will provide concrete recommendations for tertiary education institutions and policy-makers to promote skills development in education to enhance youth employability.

Speakers: Giulia Marchesini, Human Capital Senior Programme Manager, Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI)/UNOPS (moderator); Blanca Moreno-Dodson, Director, Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI)/UNOPS; Itaf Ben Abdallah, Senior Advisor, Higher Education and Research, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM); Adil Bajja, Director, Strategy, Statistics and Planification, Ministry of National Education, Kingdom of Morocco; Francisco Marmolejo, Higher Education President & Education Advisor, Qatar Foundation; Henri Louis Vedie, Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South (PCNS); Alexandre Berthon-Dumurgier, Task team leader – VET global advisor, Agence Française de Développement (AFD); Q&A with the audience


13:00-15:00 Room IX 

Transforming our Understanding of Refugee Teachers and Teaching in Contexts of Forced Displacement 

UNHCR, UNESCO Taskforce on Teachers for 2030, the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies, and Education International

Teachers in areas affected by emergencies and forced displacement are often invisible in national education sector planning and budgets. Yet in refugee-hosting contexts, refugee teachers count more than any other school-level factor for children and youths’ learning and well-being. Despite this fact, too many refugee teachers, who are experiencing the trauma of displacement themselves, contend with a lack of recognition, inadequate compensation, and poor working conditions. Where refugee teachers are needed most, barriers to entry, and inflexible and inconsistent financing mechanisms continue to compound the global teacher shortage. In protracted crises, current approaches lead to a lack of predictable multi-year funding and tangible support that would enable refugee teachers to become qualified and enter national systems.

With the aim of including these issues on the Transforming Education Summit Action Track 3 Agenda and working towards a harmonized understanding of refugee teachers and teaching in refugee hosting settings, this meeting will bring together representatives from UNHCR, UNESCO Taskforce on Teachers for 2030, the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies, Education International, teachers, youth representatives, and member state representatives to discuss and debate three key provocations:

  • Who do we consider to be “teachers” in refugee hosting settings? Might new definitions and pre-conditions for entry into the profession address the global teacher shortage? 
  • How, if at all, do we recognize community and refugee teachers as part of the professional teacher workforce in refugee hosting settings?
  • What are the limitations or barriers of current financing mechanisms and what innovative approaches exist to overcome financing challenges? 

This session will also be an opportunity to give refugee teachers and youth a voice to share their experiences and inform the agenda for transforming education provision in crisis settings.  A key outcome of this meeting will be a memo of recommendations, produced by INEE and UNHCR meeting moderators, and submitted to the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, in its role of co-lead of the Thematic Action Track 3, for consideration and inclusion in subsequent Transforming Education Summit statements.


13:00-14:45 Room X 

4th Meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Transforming Education Summit



13:00-15:00 Room XI 

Digital Open Schools: A Network of Champion Countries and Partners 

International Telecommunication Union, UNICEF, UNESCO, and Ministers of Education in Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Huawei

This meeting calls on countries and partners to take an integrated approach to the implementation of the recommendation put forth by the Discussion Paper of Action Track 4 on Digital Learning and Transformation to leverage digital technologies in building resilient open digital school systems.

The meeting will convene countries, UN agencies and partners to work towards a Network of Champion Countries and Partners on Digital Open Schools, and discuss how the Network can support countries to integrate digital learning platforms, digital education content, teachers’ digital competencies and pedagogical innovation to develop diverse modes of provision of school education programmes.

The objectives are to: 

  • Establish a Network of Champions on Digital Open Schools to support countries and NGOs to build inclusive crisis-resilient learning systems. The Champions will include countries, NGOs, UN agencies and key partners. Discuss terms of references of the Network of Champions and mid-term action plans.
  • Share knowledge on diverse digital open schooling models and elicit comments on a guiding framework on digital open schooling models.
  • Showcase good practices in planning integrated digital learning policies, national digital learning platforms, public digital resources that cover all subject areas and grade levels, development of digital competencies, and innovative pedagogies. 
  • Plan an annual event on open digital learning as a re-branding of MLW. 


13:00-15:00 Room VII 

Accelerator Program Knowledge Forum: Exemplifying the Call to Action on Foundational Learning  


The Accelerator program is an initiative together with governments that demonstrate strong political and financial commitment to fighting learning poverty. The purpose of this pre-Summit Ministerial Exchange is to center Accelerator governments that are taking significant action to improve their foundational learning outcomes, to share their experiences and lessons, to guide and inspire others. While country challenges vary, a set of evidence-based interventions have successfully improved foundational learning across contexts. This session will share knowledge and lessons learned from these interventions to ensure that more countries are ready and motivated to take significant action to accelerate foundational learning outcomes.   

The meeting will discuss the Accelerator Program process of target setting and building a realistic and costed investment case, and elaborate on the actions that can be taken to improve reading proficiency levels rapidly and at-scale in the key areas of:    

  1.  Assuring political and technical commitment to making all children literate;    
  2. Ensuring adequate amounts of effective literacy instruction by supported teachers;    
  3. Providing high quality, age-appropriate books and texts to children;    
  4. Teaching children first in the language they speak and understand best;    
  5. Fostering children’s language abilities and love of books and reading.

Speakers: Ministers of Education and Governors from Accelerator governments, Civil Society partners and the heads of Education from the Organizations leading the Accelerator Program globally; Julius Jwan, Principal Secretary, Basic Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Kenya; Joan Osa Oviawe, Commissioner of Education, Edo State Government, Nigeria; David Moinina Sengeh, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Chief Innovation Officer for the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sierra Leone; Gaspard Twagirayezu, Minister of State, Primary & Secondary Education, Ministry of Education, Rwanda; Rana Tanveer Hussain, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Pakistan, Carmelita Rita Namashulua, Minister of Education, Ministry of Education & Human Development, Mozambique, Ibrahim Natatou, Minister of National Education, Niger; Izolda Cela, Governor, Ceara state, Brazil; Jaime Saavedra, Global Director of Education, World Bank; Robert Jenkins, Global Director, Education and Adolescent Development and Participation, UNICEF; Benjamin Piper, Director, Global Education Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary, Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA); Asyia Kazmi, Global Education Policy Lead, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  (moderator)