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20 CCEM address to Ministers and Ministerial recommendations.

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During the IPF, the students and young people from across the Commonwealth have had very engaging and robust discussions on some of the critical issues that education faces in the Commonwealth. As the Chairperson, I had the honour of presenting these recommendations on behalf of CSA and the students at the Ministerial Meeting.

These were the key recommendations:

Firstly, on Student Governance. We believe that students play an integral role in the education system.  We, therefore, recommended to Honorable Ministers to

  1. Reaffirm the recognition of students as partners in education as agreed upon in the Nassau Declaration and provide appropriate support and resources to enable effective participation of students in the formulation, implementation, and review of education policies.
  2. We recommended Ministers to empower students by facilitating and supporting the establishment and strengthening of National Student Organizations, through increased resource allocation and Capacity Building, using the Student Governance Report and Toolkit developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Students’ Association (CSA).

Secondly, on Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability

Youth unemployment is a major crisis in the Commonwealth and we believe that self-employment and entrepreneurship is a viable alternative to traditional formal employment pathways for many young people. Studies have shown that entrepreneurship makes a huge contribution towards wealth creation and poverty reduction. Indeed, entrepreneurship, especially for young people, is a key driver to developing the human capital necessary for the future, unleashing the economic potential of youth and promoting sustainable growth and development. We, therefore, recommended Honorable Ministers,

  1. To acknowledge that the future of work demands a greater focus on entrepreneurship education and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM), particularly for girls and young women. We requested Ministers to commit to introducing and integrating entrepreneurship and STEM education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels to increase young people’s employability and engagement in the digital economy.  
  2. Furthermore, in order to enhance the employability of students and their adaptability to respond to evolving job markets, we requested Ministers to develop curriculums that enhance problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Finally, non-formal education and life-long learning, which is critical for sustainable development. We, therefore, requested ministers,

  1. To acknowledge the synergies and benefits of non-formal education and commit to supporting and resourcing the role of youth and community workers in the delivery of Non-formal and Informal education. And to formally recognize and certify within formal education systems the knowledge, experience, and competencies gained by people through non-formal and informal education.

While we made the above recommendations, we also made our pledge as young people as we understand that we have a role and responsibility to play in improving education outcomes in the Commonwealth. We, therefore, expressed our readiness to work as Partners in delivering the goals and targets in SDG4. We pledged to work in collaboration with Ministers and the Commonwealth Secretariat to empower students in the Commonwealth to influence change in education, contribute to their societies and amplify their voices. We pledged to work with Ministers in strengthening National Student Organizations in the Commonwealth. Finally, we placed our trust in Ministers as decision makers with the power and capacity to effect change, to invest in, provide meaningful opportunities and empower 1.2 billion young people in the Commonwealth, so that together we can forge a brighter future for all.

 

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Commonwealth Students Association