4. The 17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers - Kuala Lumpur Communiqué (2009)
(Adopted at the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers, 15- 18 June 2009)
The Government of Malaysia hosted the 17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (17CCEM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 15-18 June 2009. This marked the 50th anniversary of the first CCEM, and was attended by 40 countries, 37 of which were led by Ministers.
9. While stressing the overriding importance of maintaining a focus on achieving internationally-agreed goals, Ministers recognised the importance of preparing the groundwork for moving beyond these goals at the same time as striving to achieve them, and of looking at education more holistically and as a continuum. Indeed, they affirmed that the achievement of the international goals is dependent on looking forward, while noting the importance of innovative delivery mechanisms in light of resource constraints in this area. Ministers emphasised that the expanse and quality of secondary and higher education not only determine the number and quality of primary school teachers, but are also critical for providing innovative solutions; for enhancing quality and equity in the delivery of education; and for delivering socio-economic development. In this regard, Ministers recognised the importance of delivering:
- Good governance in education administration; and
- “Gender mainstreaming” across all interventions;
11. With regard to the Secretariat’s programme for the new triennium 2009-12, Ministers emphasised that there was a need to prioritise the work to take account of global trends, and to focus on those areas where the Commonwealth has a comparative advantage and a proven track-record. In this light, Ministers urged the Secretariat to focus its work on the following areas:
vi. Education for sustainable development, with particular emphasis on climate change;
vii. Enhancing the delivery of multi-grade teaching; and
viii. Strengthening HIV and AIDS education.
14. Against the background of the Mandate from Heads of Government in the Munyonyo Statement on Respect and Understanding, Ministers agreed that education has a vital role to play in promoting a greater understanding of our rich, multiple identities, and in encouraging mutual respect. This is especially valuable in helping to prevent and resolve conflict. Broadening participation in education, as well as creating a favourable environment and a supportive curriculum, can help overcome the marginalisation of specific groups. Ministers recognised that there is a need for intervention at all levels of education to deliver these aims. They welcomed the exchange of views at the Conference, and the sharing of important experiences of policies, programmes and practices that had been instituted by members at the national level to promote social cohesion. Ministers requested the Secretariat to draw on this discussion to strengthen its work programme on Respect and Understanding in education, and for its report back to CHOGM later in the year.