MANILA, Philippines – Education ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies highlighted the need for inclusive and quality education to enable learners to engage in the globalized economy.
“We need to develop international cooperation programs and strategic partnerships that provide for the acquisition and transfer of knowledge by all populations through education and training,” read a joint statement after the two-day APEC Education Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) held in Lima, Peru, from October 5 to 6.
“This will provide economies with the capacity to increase their competitiveness and improve youth employability,” the education officials said.
After all, the education ministers agreed that a globalized world requires “advanced and strong systems to develop workforces with global competencies.”
When education and training systems “meet the needs of the modern world,” the education ministers said it will not only promote regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, but it will also enhance prosperity among APEC member economies.
“We agree to support education and training cooperation through educational research and policy analyses over the next four years,” the ministers said.
The Peru meeting is the 6th AEMM with the theme “An Inclusive and Quality Education.”
According to the education ministers, while “considerable progress” has been made in providing access to education and training for all, ensuring inclusion and quality remains a challenge.
Citing the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the education ministers said inclusive and quality education provides learners with their basic learning needs and respects their cultural diversity.
The meeting also put the spotlight on education-related goals and targets under the Sustainable Development Goals.
“With this in mind, the theme of human capital development will, consistent with economies’ domestic policies, be addressed by working together to enhance competencies, accelerate innovation and increase employability,” the joint statement read.
Philippines’ Education Secretary Leonor Briones headed the country’s delegation to the AEMM. There, she shared the Philippine experience in modernizing the education system.
In their joint statement, the education ministers also urged APEC member economies to commit to do the following:
- Continue to promote cross-border education cooperation more broadly and improve people-to-people connectivity to support globally-relevant education systems
- Pursue opportunities to work together in identifying and responding to the impact of technological change which is transforming the way in which societies live, work, communicate, develop, and pursue ideas
- Work together to adapt the scope and style of pedagogical practices, including those that will encourage increased participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) studies
- Further enhance research, development, and innovation through efforts to increase government-industry-academia collaboration
- Work together to strengthen partnerships between governments, educational and TVET (technical vocational education and training) institutions and the private sector to better facilitate the transition from education to work, and lift participation in lifelong learning, and encourage the development of global competencies and entrepreneurship skills