"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] G20 Development Working Group (DWG), G20 Initiative on Human Capital Investment for Sustainable Development, Quality education for creating inclusive, resilient and innovative societies

[Date] June 29, 2019
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Notes] Final
[Full text]

1. Investing in human capital is the foundation for achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth. It reinforces human dignity and fosters empowerment, and allows nations to benefit from more productive, resilient and innovative societies.

2. Human capital includes the knowledge, skills and experience that people accumulate over their lives. Together with health and nutrition, education is a key part of human capital, and lays the foundation for lifelong learning and support children's wellbeing, as a stand‐alone goal and a cross‐ cutting enabler to advance progress towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), helping to ensure that "no one is left behind," based on people‐centred approach. We affirm that everyone has the right to education. We also recognize that barriers to education still persist across all levels of education, including for youth, women and girls, who are central to a more prosperous, peaceful, stable and sustainable societies.

3. Based on the G20's past achievements in education and in close coordination with other G20 working groups and work streams in areas such as health, food security and nutrition, human resource development *1* , employment, women's empowerment and digital economy, the G20 supports concrete actions to invest in quality education, with a particular emphasis on developing and low and middle‐income countries, focusing on the following three pillars; (1) quality education for achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth, (2) education for creating innovation, and (3) education for a resilient and inclusive future. In doing so, we note the importance of providing lifelong learning opportunities for all, starting at an early age and that encompass formal, non‐formal and informal learning.

3.1. Quality education for achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth

3.1.1. Reaffirming the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD) as the basis of every child's health, well‐being, learning outcomes and earning potentials, to achieve the full realization of their rights and capabilities, we recognize the importance of promoting adequate, equitable and efficient national and international investment in all domains of nurturing care, to increase access to quality pre‐primary education as well as adequate training, capacity development, professionalization and decent work conditions for the early childhood workforce such as teachers and other caregivers.

Special attention should be given to the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups, including the poorest. We recognize the importance of promoting the use of national, regional, and international benchmarks as well as quality assurance systems to measure and support children's early learning outcomes. In this regard, we support knowledge dissemination and learning exchanges and work together to promote early childhood education through utilizing the platform established under the G20 Initiative for Early Childhood Development as well as other global platforms as appropriate.

3.1.2. In order to address "the learning crisis" where learning outcomes in basic education are low in many developing countries, we support international cooperation for preschool learning, and equal access to quality education, based on evidence by improving the availability and following‐up of inclusive, accessible, quality, timely evaluations and measurements related to education and learning outcomes. As concrete actions, for example, we strive to improve teachers' and trainers' professional skills and classroom practices, and foster quality of educational curricula and content, methods, facilities and materials, and strengthen school management and accountability, while promoting a safe and transformative learning environment, and keeping up with new technologies and learning methods. We endeavour to do so by strengthening collaboration with governments and other key stakeholders in developing countries, such as international organizations, civil society organizations, the private sector, research institutes and international education initiatives. Recognizing that investing in educational system lies primarily with the governments at country or local levels, we endeavour to support the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other initiatives in helping developing countries to overcome the learning crisis and to deliver on these concrete actions on improved education sector planning.

3.1.3. We endeavour to mainstream Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), as an integral element of SDG4 on Education as well as a key enabler of all the other SDGs*2*. We also encourage countries to support educational institutions and educators at all levels to include ESD into students' learning experiences, while also engaging in these processes with other relevant stakeholders. We recognize that multi‐stakeholder dialogue and cooperation should be encouraged as much as possible in sharing best practices for further collaboration. We also further promote ESD under the new ESD framework "Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs (ESD for 2030)*3*".

3.2. Education for creating innovation

3.2.1. We seek to promote international cooperation for education and training, related to the fourth industrial revolution, to enable people to be capable of powering greater innovation, including strengthening Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. To this end, we promote the development of students' innovative skills and attitudes through improved pedagogies and assessments in all subject matters. We also encourage collaboration among various stakeholders in education and training, such as the private sector, civil society organizations, educational and research institutions, and local governments and communities to prepare citizens for future market needs and increase employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for all, considering "Policy Options for Education and Skills" agreed upon by the G20 Education Ministers' Declaration in 2018. We recognize that education for innovation has not often been available to vulnerable and marginalized groups and we seek to promote access for those with the fewest opportunities, including women and girls, youth, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and local communities, people in fragile and conflict affected situations and others. To this end, non‐ conventional or non‐formal schooling can address the needs of those living in remote areas.

3.2.2. Building on G20 #eSkills4Girls Initiative, with the aim to overcome the gender digital divide, we affirm that promoting the active participation of girls and women in STEM education, training and careers enhance women's empowerment by providing them with greater economic and professional opportunity and by promoting their creativity and innovation conducive to economic development. In this regard, we also welcome the activities under the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We‐ Fi), which encourages women entrepreneurs in developing countries to use advanced technology and improve access to capital, technical assistance and investment to start‐up or grow their own business. We catalyse global momentum to promote STEM education and training for girls and women with solid educational foundations and targeted support, while addressing discriminatory norms and attitudes against women and girls in STEM fields, and encouraging transformational change in organisations and policies. We recognize the role of digital financial literacy in enhancing women's economic participation, as it increases women's financial autonomy and improve the performance of their businesses. Furthermore, we recognize the need for stronger evidence on the impact of these policy changes on girls' education and educational outcomes.

3.2.3. To prepare for the Future of Work challenges, we encourage the development of relevant inclusive pedagogical approaches in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to foster all learners' employability and the acquisition of 21st century skills demanded in the economy and society such as creativity, flexibility, critical thinking, socio‐emotional skills, and digital and entrepreneurial skills. We also promote life‐long learning for all, including marginalized and disadvantaged groups to improve the linkage between education, training and skills needed in work places. We also strongly encourage the promotion and training of female teachers, administrators, and leaders across education field. We will also continue to work, in coordination with other work streams, on the G20 Training Strategy implementation and on setting out the critical building blocks for linking education and training to decent work.

3.3. Education for resilient and inclusive future

3.3.1. Acknowledging the impact of girls' education on human development in a broader context of individuals, communities and societies, we reaffirm our commitment to promote inclusive quality education for all girls and women as both recipients and active participants and decision‐makers in the promotion, design, delivery and evaluation of education. It is important that girls and women and boys and men have equal opportunities in accessing and completing quality education, and expand opportunities to access primary through secondary quality education with appropriate infrastructure and that it is free from gender‐based discrimination and stereotypes. It is also important to address other challenges such as eliminating all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation, and all forms of violence and discrimination against women and children. We affirm that equal access to inclusive, equitable and quality education within safe learning environments at all educational levels is essential to achieving the empowerment of girls and women. We also underscore the importance of taking all appropriate measures to prevent and protect children in educational institutions from any form of violence, including bullying and online bullying, and to promote tolerance and respect for the human dignity of others during the educational process including such programs as global citizenship education.

3.3.2. With a particular focus on children, youth, adolescents and adults with disabilities including learning disabilities, we recognize the importance of mainstreaming disability‐inclusive ECD and education and taking actions in areas such as education curricula and infrastructure in a way to prevent and break the cycle of marginalization, taking into account national circumstances. We endeavour to also work towards reducing social inequality in education regardless of background, and free from all forms of discrimination such as rural and indigenous youth and survivors of abuse and violence. In this context, we support enhancing the platform established under the G20 initiative for Early Childhood Development to promote knowledge dissemination and learning exchanges among countries on inclusive ECD policies.

3.3.3. With a view to addressing the urgent need to provide quality education and learning opportunities for those in fragility, conflict, emergency and violent contexts, including refugees and internally displaced persons as the case may be, we recognize the importance of building inclusive and adaptable education systems and services that include planning in anticipation of crisis, conflict, trauma and violence, and strengthen resilient skills for individuals, inter alia, through supporting the host countries and host communities. In this context, the G20 notes the role of the relevant global initiatives, including Education Cannot Wait.

3.3.4. We acknowledge that technology and innovation may also contribute to inclusive education and enable access to education for especially vulnerable and hard to reach groups, including those affected by crisis and conflict. We promote international cooperation by utilizing innovative technologies for quality education, including for training teachers, in schools and vocational institutions, open and distance learning facilities, short‐term trainings for e‐skills and other new methods to promote such education as appropriate for national priorities and local contexts.

4. We emphasize the importance of taking a whole‐of‐government and multi‐stakeholder approach in a coherent manner to sustain efforts across political cycles and link sectoral programs together with a focus on expanding educational access for all, and improving learning outcomes with the participation and engagement of parents, families and communities, particularly in support of women and girls. To this end, we also promote vertical and horizontal coordination between different levels of governments and with relevant international organizations, Multilateral Development Banks, civil society, local communities and the private sector, building upon the existing international education and skills development initiatives. We welcome the World Bank Group's human development initiative, and other regional and international programmes for learning assessments and to measure education, learning and skills outcomes.

5. We recognize the necessity of increasing investment and improving efficiency and effectiveness in the development of education systems and skills for current and future labour market needs in low‐ income and developing countries, including those in Africa through our G20 Africa Partnership Initiative. To this end, we call for strengthened domestic resource mobilization, and innovative allocation of resources as well as increased international cooperation, including North‐South, South‐ South and Triangular Cooperation, to help ensure quality education for creating inclusive, resilient and innovative societies.


{*1* UN resolution A/72/292 on human resources for development for the 21st century. The resolution highlighted the need of large scale investments in basic education and training, as well as health and gender equality, as critical enablers for individuals to develop their full human potential and for societies to reap the associated gains.}

{*2* UN Resolution 72/222 ESD in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.}

{*3* ESD for 2030 is a new global framework to follow the UN Decade for ESD (2005‐2014) and Global Action Programme

for ESD (2015‐2019) to accelerate the ESD actions for the period 2020‐2030 (proposed and led by UNESCO).}