Highlighting Qatar's contribution to humanitarian and sustainable development projects, HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Buthaina bint Ali al-Jabr al-Nuaimi has stressed that Qatar is a major contributor worldwide by investing in education, health and economic empowerment.
She noted that Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has provided nearly $1bn in grants for educational projects in 64 countries over the past decade, while the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation has reached more than 10mn children out of school in 56 countries and is constantly expanding its reach and impact, the official Qatar News Agency reported.
HE the Minister made the observations at the 'Education and Learning in Times of Emergencies and Protracted Crises' session, held as part of the Transforming Education Summit at the United Nations (UN). The main summit, which will be held today (Leaders Day), was preceded by side events on September 16 (Mobilisation Day) and 17 (Solutions Day).
In response to the educational loss caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, EAA Foundation established a free and multi-discipline creative bank for educational resources, ensuring the continuity of learning for more than 600,000 children in 170 countries despite the low resources, it was pointed out. Moreover, the foundation and its partners recently launched the TRACE data portal to bridge the global gap for reliable, high-quality, accessible data that collects, visualises and provides co-ordinated analysis of data on attacks on education, HE the Minister noted.
HE al-Nuaimi highlighted the importance of all the gathered parties working to ensure that a higher proportion of development aid and government spending is allocated to the teaching and learning system, in line with the education commitment in times of crisis project; indicating that this is not only a moral duty, but is also essential for achieving sustainable development and a safer world for all.
In the 'Financial Innovations: Expanding the Fiscal Space for Education to Finance Learning Recovery' session, HE the Minister highlighted the achievements of EAA Foundation through the Educate a Child programme, which was able to finance nearly $950mn out of a total amount of $2.3bn invested with global partners in providing primary education to more than 14mn children deprived of education around the world.
She added that the experience of the Educate a Child programme is a living example "that we can all imitate to work together, stressing that the possibilities are unlimited in this aspect and will be in the interest of those who have been marginalised educationally".
HE the Minister stressed that Qatar strongly supports the calls for donor countries to allocate higher percentages of official development assistance directly to education and training, and that the State also supports the proposed mechanism to allow countries heavily indebted to restructure and reschedule their debts.
She called on participants from the World Bank to contribute to a better understanding of options for increasing education allocations in budgets, and called on the Global Partnership for Education to help develop innovative strategies to increase the financial capacity of education.
She also referred to the approach adopted by Qatar towards the issue of financing education at the national and global levels, and that it pays great attention to this issue and has showed its commitment to its students and students of the world by taking a conscious decision to invest in education, stemming from its belief in education as the pillar of social growth.
She noted that as everyone approaches the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, countries must deliver on the promises they made to provide quality education for every child, which inevitably requires greater investment in education.
In an opening speech at the 'Localising Education for a Sustainable Future' session, HE al-Nuaimi focused on the importance of localising education, paying special attention to the issue of bilingualism, values and identity, and localising the content of school curricula.
She expressed happiness to share the work in this context with Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and Djibouti, as well as the regional office of Unesco in Qatar.
She noted that the demographic structure of Qatar includes, in addition to the Qatari citizens, an important number of people from various other nationalities working in the country and contributing to its national development, making Qatar a multicultural and multilingual environment supportive of co-existence, mutual understanding and peace.
Qatar realises the importance of sustainable development as a necessity to achieve prosperity in the future, establish security and achieve peace in the world, she noted.
As part of the Solutions Day, in which multi-stakeholders presented initiatives that will contribute to transforming education, HE the Minister presented an overview of Qatar's 'Rasikh' initiative, the new digital learning platform launched by QF in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, in co-operation with Djibouti and the Unesco regional office in Qatar.
This platform connects all teachers and local institutions in Qatar, from the public and private sectors and other key institutions, through a codified mechanism to establish knowledge that can immediately reach classrooms.
She pointed to the challenges faced by students represented in the lack of modern, updated and most useful contents in the Arabic language, and that by using the 'Rasikh' learning platform, Arabic-speaking students will no longer face this problem, while at the same time, non-Arabic-speaking students in Qatar in private schools will be able to access to locally designed and English language teaching materials relevant to the national context.
HE the Minister also underlined that education is a basic right for children both in times of stability and crisis. Addressing the 'Education and Learning in Times of Emergencies and Protracted Crises' session, she said education in times of emergencies represents more than a right for education for children; rather, it provides a psychological support and a stability factor to help them overcome the trauma they face every day, and a feeling that life has returned to normal, enhances resilience, supports long-term recovery processes and rebuilds a better future.
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