GEM Report for 2020 launched Report highlights need for inclusion of children in education in post-Covid 19 scenario

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Zubair Qureshi

The 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report on inclusion and education, “All means ALL,” emphasizes unified efforts for inclusion of out-of-school children in the post Covid-19 scenario.
They were addressing an online launching ceremony of the GEM report that was also addressed by Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood.
The venue was the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and the organizer of the report launch was Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA).
ITA had in fact co-hosted the national virtual launch of the UNESCO’s 2020 GEM Report along with the Ministry for Federal Education and Professional Training, UNESCO Pakistan and Department for International Development (DFID).
The event called on all stakeholders to concentrate on those being left behind and move towards inclusion in education, particularly after COVID-19. GEM Report Senior Analyst Anna Cristina D’Addio gave a presentation on the 2020 GEM Report and shared the key findings from the report.
Shafqat Mahmood said school closures following COVID-19 had disrupted education system but it had also allowed us to focus more on digital technologies.
The government is making a conscious effort to reduce the educational gaps and promote inclusion using technology. The minister added that the findings from the 2020 GEM Report are beneficial and will help the government in formulating the education policy.
The online event featured an interactive high-level panel that discussed the key messages and recommendations in the report. “The GEM Report reminds us of the continued disparities in education, particularly in ensuring access of quality education to all, which is the foundation of inclusion,” UNESCO Pakistan Country Representative Patricia McPhillips said in her opening remarks.
“The GEM Report emphasizes the global need for better data collection and subsequent use,” she said, adding it was encouraging to note that Pakistan’s inclusion-oriented data collection initiative was highlighted in the report as a best practice. Recognizing the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018 and introduction of admission quotas to Disability Act 2014, she said that these are important milestones for ensuring inclusive education.
DFID Pakistan Country Director Annabel Gerry said, “This report comes at a critical moment, where the coronavirus pandemic has added to the hidden emergency of exclusion from education.”

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