Together with Youth—The Together for Learning Summit outcome document
The outcome document below was developed by Canada in collaboration with the following governments, and is supported by the following multilateral organizations, civil society organizations and other education stakeholders.
Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, South Sudan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States
Big Bad Boo Studios; CAMFED Canada; Canadian Lutheran World Relief; Children Believe; CODE; Convergence Tech; the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security; Education Cannot Wait; the European Union’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations; Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie; Generation Unlimited; the Global Partnership for Education; Grandmothers Advocacy Network; NetHope; ONE; Plan International; Results Canada; Right To Play International; Save the Children Canada; SOS Children’s Villages Canada; the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; the UN Girls’ Education Initiative; UNICEF; UNICEF Canada; the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East; War Child Canada; The Wellspring Foundation for Education; the World Bank; World Vision Canada; World University Service of Canada
“While significant global efforts are underway to promote quality education for all, without targeted, multi-stakeholder initiatives and partnerships for education that reach the most marginalized, including refugee and internally displaced as well as host community children and youth, there is a risk of failing to meet all of the Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly the commitment to leave no one behind. An increasing number of children and youth are experiencing unprecedented disruptions to their education in times of conflict, economic crisis, natural disasters, COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. As we have seen too often, attacks on schools and universities deny large numbers of children and students their right to education. Where educational facilities are used for military purposes, it can increase the risk of the recruitment and use of children by armed actors or may leave children and youth vulnerable to sexual abuse or exploitation. Disruptions to education disproportionately affect girls and adolescent girls, and marginalized children and youth, including refugees, internally and forcibly displaced children and youth and those living in host communities.
“Having convened virtually, at the Together for Learning Summit on March 30-31, 2022, to learn from and discuss with youth the best practices, lessons learned, and challenges in providing quality education for refugee and other forcibly displaced children and youth, we welcome the Together for Learning Youth Manifesto and its call for action to address challenges related to inclusive education, accountability, gender equality, mental health, and remote learning solutions for all learners. We take note of this Youth Manifesto’s call to work in partnership—with governments, civil society, grassroots organizations, UN and multilateral organizations, and the private sector—to ensure that refugees, internally and forcibly displaced and host community children and youth can get the education they need and deserve. In the lead-up to and during the Summit, we have reviewed and discussed this Manifesto to understand different challenges, contexts and good practices and to identify actions that we can pursue to meet this challenge such as:
- Improving access to and completion of free, equitable, inclusive and quality education for all children and youth, regardless of their ability, legal status, gender, age, ethnicity, origin or any other discriminating factors, from quality early childhood development and pre-primary education through primary and secondary education, including, inter alia by: reducing financial and non-financial barriers that limit access to education; strengthening the capacities of education institutions to promote the inclusion of refugees in national education systems; and supporting non-formal education service delivery, addressing learning loss and supporting programs for accelerated learning.
- Improving the quality of education that all children and youth receive, including inter alia by: providing a safe setting; supporting context-specific curriculum reforms that promote social-emotional life skills; promoting teacher training and professional development, including for female teachers; ensuring, where applicable, that refugee teachers have all of their qualifications recognized; and expanding equitable access to remote learning modalities, supporting a range of high-tech, low-tech and no-tech options.
- Promoting approaches to advancing girls’ education that transform gender relations, addressing gender-specific barriers that limit girls’ access to education and that prevent girls from staying in school; promoting curricula and learning materials that increase awareness of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and address harmful norms, practices and stereotypes; preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence; and supporting the construction of gender-sensitive school infrastructure and latrines.
- Integrating mental health and psycho-social support within education programming at classroom, school and community levels to address trauma and promote children’s well-being and healthy development, and responding to the mental health needs of teachers.
- Strengthening the resilience and capacities of education systems prone to or recovering from conflict, crisis, natural disasters, COVID-19 pandemic, economic instability and climate change, and facing significant levels of displacement, by ensuring that they have the capacity to prepare for, respond to and mitigate the impacts of crises on learners, educators and education institutions, and finding new, innovative ways to finance education.
- Eliminating gaps in access to remote learning solutions, technology and digital infrastructure by working to develop partnerships that expand high quality internet connectivity and accessibility to all schools and communities, promoting the use of flexible remote learning solutions for educators and for all students, improving their ability to access and use contextualized educational resources, and particularly taking into account gender-related gaps in digital access.
- Improving disaggregated data collection and management, including supporting local monitoring, learning and evaluation frameworks, supporting the capacity of governments and refugee-led organizations to collect and use data to improve evidence-based decision-making.
- Supporting completion of quality secondary education by addressing the barriers that limit students’ retention in schools beyond primary levels, especially adolescent girls, and supporting initiatives that promote the transition from primary to secondary school or technical and vocational education.
- Promoting opportunities to access higher education and training for employment, including programs designed to develop skills for decent work, and demand-driven technical and vocational training, assisting youth in their transition from learning to work.
“Inspired by the discussions at the Together for Learning Summit and with a shared ambition to achieve SDG 4 and leave no one behind, we recognize the importance of listening to and amplifying youth voices as meaningful participants, including as a way to ensure that the education sector responds to the needs and aspirations of children and youth. We will advocate for the meaningful inclusion of youth and appropriate attention to the most marginalized children and youth, particularly refugees, internally and other forcibly displaced and host community children and youth, at the Transforming Education Summit in September 2022. We will reconvene at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum to assess our progress and challenges in working together towards ensuring that no child is left behind. Together, we must act so that all children and youth can access a quality education.”
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