National Launch of the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report

Manila, 01 August 2019 – UNESCO Jakarta Office and the Philippines’ Department of Education convened donors, education and humanitarian experts, policy-makers, teachers and students as well as the donors to launch the 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report.

Held at Marquis Events Place in Taguig City, the launch aimed at increasing awareness of the Report’s messages and recommendations with the broader education community, with those working on humanitarian responses, and specifically with government officials and policy-makers.
The theme of this year’s GEM Report is “Migration, displacement and education: Building bridges, not walls.” The Report highlights the implications of different types of migration and displacement on education systems. It presents evidence on the gaps in educational opportunities and outcomes between immigrant and displaced students and their peers in host communities. However, it also looks at the reverse influence of education on migration and displacement, and how reforming curricula, textbooks and teacher education can lead to addressing diversity and achieving inclusive education.
Talking at the occasion, Director and Representative of UNESCO Office, Jakarta, Dr Shahbaz Khan, stressed the importance of organizing high-level dialogue on policies proven by evidence to provide holistic quality education for migrants and those forcibly displaced. He shared, “If we want to achieve real progress towards SDG4, we need to continue the conversation and shed light to the various factors that prevent us from providing education to our children. From now on, protracted crises, short-term catastrophes, and migration should be taken into consideration not only in crafting policies for education but in forging new partnerships among organizations who want to give focus on the needs of our learners considered to be part of the poorest, most vulnerable, and those further behind.” The Report estimates that, in 2017, there were 258 million international migrants and over 87 million people displaced, due to either conflict, persecution or natural disaster.
In the case of the Philippines, the report shows that migration has affected the country positively. The Philippines showed an increase in school attendance and reduced child labour due to the rise in international remittances from the migrant workers. Around 1.5 to three million children in the Philippines have parents living abroad, and the majority of them spend remittances they receive on education. On the other hand, conflicts in some parts of the country and natural disasters resulting in internal displacement continue to exacerbate people’s vulnerability as this deprives them access to quality education. The Alternative Learning System (non-formal education) is one of the recognized solutions mentioned in the report that can help children whose education was interrupted by displacement
Asserting the Government’s commitment to address the flight of internally displaced learners, Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones of DepEd through the Department Order No. 98, s. 2017 mandated schools all over the country to accept displaced learners even if they had no school documents with them. DepEd also embarked in various activities to address the tangible and intangible needs of our learners affected by human made conflicts and natural disasters.
Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones discussed how migration and displacement are linked to many issues and challenges - political, internal, and external, among many others. She likewise mentioned the case of the Marawi siege as an example. She added, “The experience of Marawi, I think, reflects and reminds us, especially Filipinos—again and again—that we are a loving and caring people,” the Secretary added. “I once said, and I say this with great courage, and perhaps impudence: we are not racists. We are not against other cultures. We are not against people of colour because we are people of colour ourselves.”
“It is good policy, it is great policy to take care of migrants and displaced persons, not only because they are fellow humans, but because they also make great contributions to our own culture,” Briones further emphasized.
Aside from providing focus on the issues of migration and displacement, the 2019 GEM Report also offered an assessment of progress towards SDG4 on education and its ten targets, as well as other related education targets in the SDG Agenda.