ASPBAE

Youth-led Action Research (YAR) on the Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalised Youth in 9 Countries in the Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific region is home to more than 700 million young people. About 85 million come from marginalized backgrounds, living in extreme poverty, having little to no access to education, employment, health care, and social protection, and facing barriers to meaningful opportunities to engage in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Disconnected from their peers and pushed to the margins, youth took a serious hit due to the profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to face significant disruptions and changes on multiple fronts- at home, in their community, and in the economy. They will continue to feel the weight of this crisis for a long time.

The Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) recognizes the immense value of youth as equal partners in promoting transformative youth and adult work and strong lifelong learning systems and creating a better world. ASPBAE is well-positioned to serve as a source of support for youth and as a platform through which their voices and needs can be conveyed and amplified, even and especially during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Strengthening the voice and agency of youth in education policies and processes has been a priority of ASPBAE and is a huge part of its work and advocacies.

It is against this backdrop that ASPBAE invites you to its virtual side event:

Youth-led Action Research (YAR) on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Marginalised Youth in 9 Countries in the Asia Pacific

Register here!

This side event will bring together youth and youth organizations, national and local governments officials, international organizations, civil society organizations, parents’ and teachers’ associations to deepen understanding of the new and challenging realities that marginalized youth are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the different aspects of their lives. The event specifically aims to:

✱ Share stories and recommendations of marginalized youth on how to place education, decent work, and social protection at the centre of the agenda towards recovery and resilience

✱ Discuss measures that governments, decision-makers, and other relevant stakeholders can take to finance and prioritize the recommendations of youth

✱ Appraise the VNRs of 12 countries in the region through an adult learning and education (ALE) lens looking into the integration of youth and adult learning and education in the implementation of the SDGs

✱ Discuss the financing of education based on the recommendations from the youth-led action research

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CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN. For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights, please visit childrightsny.org.

CoNGO president, three other NGO leaders, join in a statement on the International Day of Education 2021

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New York City, 24 January 2021 (CoNGO InfoNews) — Education is a human right. Inclusion and equity are crucial for transformative education. Education as common public good requires public funding. Education at primary and secondary levels is universal and adult education primordial. Online education has blessings and perils. Safety and wellbeing is crucial at education venues. Education must be portable across borders. Global citizenship education is critical to multilateral collaboration. Educate to increase hope and decrease fear.

These are the thematic headings of a 26-point statement issued on the occasion of the International Day of Education 2021 by Liberato C. Bautista, president of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO), and joined by Maria Helen Dabu, secretary general of the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), Franklin Shaffer, president and chief executive officer of CGFNS International, and Montse Rafel, director general of Dianova International.

The statement reaffirmed education as a human right, a public good and a public responsibility, and must be publicly funded.

The leaders recognized the blessings and perils of online education, naming the digital divide  exacerbated by the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the same vein, they recognized the importance of education especially for health and allied professions and their portability across borders, given the high demand but shortage of health workers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Education must foster civic engagement, democratic participation and social innovation, ” the statement said. “Now is the time to develop global civic consciousness and innovate on a global civics education that fosters global citizenship and multilateral collaboration. Each of our countries, our people and the planet will be better for it.”

The leaders spoke of basic and adult education in a time of intersecting pandemics. They called for “education to increase hope and decrease fear.”

“Education must expose fear brought about by threats to and violations against the dignity and human rights of persons, such as those generated by increasing racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that alienate and divide people and communities from one another. These, on top of fears and anxieties resulting from intersecting crises of pandemic proportions—health crisis, racial crisis, climate crisis, migration crisis, economic crisis, violence, and more.”

The statement closed with an urgent call for “advocacy and partnerships for education among civil society organizations, and among NGOs, the UN System, and States.”

Read the full statement here.

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