RIYADH: The Kingdom’s participation in the G20 2023 summit is key as it is a prominent and important international forum with the world’s biggest economies as its members, Saudi Minister of Education Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Benyan said.
Al-Benyan commended the efforts made by the Kingdom, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to support the achievement of the G20’s objectives in addressing global challenges.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Al-Benyan highlighted the successes achieved and the priorities adopted through the group’s work under the Indian presidency. Issues addressed by the G20 included digital infrastructure, climate change mitigation, global food security, clean energy, women’s empowerment, the macroeconomy and accelerating the achievement of the 2030 sustainable development goals.
He praised the efforts of the G20 education working group this year, which included meetings and discussions about promoting basic digital and reading skills in the context of hybrid learning, ensuring the comprehensiveness and quality of technology-based education at all levels of education, capacity building, promoting lifelong learning opportunities, promoting research and innovation, and activating cooperation between higher education and scientific research institutions in the G20 countries.
Al-Benyan stressed the importance of keeping education on the G20’s main agenda. “Significant attention was given to education during the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20,” he said. “Saudi Arabia brought back the education working group as a main working group in 2020 after it was absent in 2019. This move stemmed from the Kingdom’s belief in the importance of education as a basic human right, a main driver to achieving the sustainable development goals and a foundation for building human capabilities and promoting them.
“The Kingdom’s education sector, which constitutes one of the main pillars of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, receives unlimited support from the wise government through the comprehensive development of the education system as well as the educational policies, programs and projects that are adopted in various fields and at all levels,” Al-Benyan said.
“This contributes to developing our citizens’ skills and raising generations that possess great knowledge and significant skills, while also being able to compete internationally,” he said. “The Kingdom’s Vision has set ambitious and comprehensive goals that support the educational process and make all opportunities available. This ensures just and fair education for all and supports the efforts that aim at teaching people with disabilities and creating the proper and effective education environment in order to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable economic development.”
Al-Benyan highlighted the importance of international cooperation and partnerships between the G20 member states and the rest of the world, especially when faced with global crises, along with the importance of exchanging knowledge and best practices in education, promoting means of future cooperation to study the impact of disasters and crises as well as investing in innovation, entrepreneurship and global research.
He stressed the benefits of joint work in developing modern international trends and policies, which consider education as a main driver of development and a basic right for all, to ensure a sustainable future for all.