On 20 January 2021, Mr. Chen Dehai, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) addressed the 2021 International Day of Education-China Celebration, which was co-hosted by China Education Association for International Exchange and Beijing Normal University.
Mr. Tian Xuejun, Vice-Minister of Education of Chinaand Chairperson of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, delivered a keynote speech. Mr. Liu Limin, President of China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th Session of the United Nnations (UN) General Assembly, Ms. Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Mr. Djauhari Oratmangun, Indonesian Ambassador to China and Mr. Laurent Bili, French Ambassador to China, addressed the event. Mr. Qin Changwei, Secretary-General of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, and Mr. Fang Jun, Deputy Director-General of Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of Ministry of Education (MOE) of China, attended the event. Mr. Wang Yongli, Secretary-General of CEAIE, chaired the meeting.
Vice-Minister Tian Xuejun briefed on the efforts of China’s education sector in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the outcomes of the SDG 4-Education 2030, including the experiences and practices in targeted poverty alleviation through education, he put forward four initiatives: reinforcing confidence to join efforts toward the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs); promoting innovation to add value to education through technology; leading trend to cultivate international talents of global competence; and uniting as one to forge a global educational community.
President Liu Limin pointed out that education in the post-pandemic era is closely related to the future of mankind. All parties should have an insight into the future and plan ahead for education development. He expressed hope that this event would serve as an opportunity to build platforms and bridges for educators from all over the world to fully display their achievements and to discuss plans for education development through extensive consultation.
Mr. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President of the 74th UN General Assembly, called on all governments and stakeholders to address the systematic and structural issues that hamper access to education, and work together to create a world truly fit for all, where no one is left behind.
Ms. Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education of UNESCO, stressed that education is a public good that requires close international collaboration to share knowledge, mobilize resources and reform the system centring on inclusion, equity and quality education and to guide societies onto the path of sustainable development.
Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to structural changes in the society. Schools need to quickly adapt to the digital society and facilitate distance learning. Today’s forum provides opportunities for all parties to share experiences and best practices.
Ambassador Laurent Bili mentioned that despite the differences between China and France in educational culture, the two countries resemble each other in terms of basic values of universal education and equality in education. France recruits 10,000 Chinese overseas students each year and also hosts the largest number of Chinese language learners in Europe. All parties should cooperate to fight for the right to education.
Secretary-General Chen Dehai mentioned that in the context of the continuous spread and rebound of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is of great significance for every country to share experiences on coping with challenges and promoting the sustainable development of education in the post-pandemic era. He hoped that through this event, educational equality and sustainable development can be further promoted through exchanges and mutual consensus.
Mr. Elisio Benedito Jamine, Charge d’affairs and Deputy Head of the African Union Permanent Mission to China, Mr. Matt Burney, Minister (Culture and Education) of the British Embassy to China, and Dr. Igor Pozdniakov, Representative of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation in China, delivered remarks respectively.
Mr. Dong Qi, President of Beijing Normal University, Mr. Zou Lianke, Director-General of Guizhou Provincial Department of Education, Mr. Han Jun, Deputy Director-General of National Center for Educational Technology, Mr. Chen Liqun, Lifelong Honorary Principal of Taijiang Minority High School in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, and Mrs. Guljahan Amat, History Teacher at No.3 High School of Yecheng County, Kashgar Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China, delivered featured speeches respectively.
The event focuses on “Education Equality and Sustainable Development in the Post-Pandemic Era” and reaffirms the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the importance of education in achieving sustainable development. Around 1,000 representatives from 25 countries and international organisations attended the event both online and offline.