Amid Global Education Crisis, Secretary-General Stresses Need to Overhaul Learning Systems, Expand Support for Teachers, in Message for World Youth Skills Day Event

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the World Youth Skills Day event, in New York today:

My thanks to the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka for organizing this World Youth Skills Day event. We are living through great challenge and change.

Technology is racing at the speed of light.  The skills required for the job market are changing just as fast.  Yet, we face a global education crisis.  Children and young people aren’t receiving the quality education and skills they need for the future.

World Youth Skills Day calls on the world to change that. This year’s theme spotlights the crucial role of teachers.  They need education and professional development opportunities to help young people make the transition from school to the workplace.  I have launched the High-Level Panel on the Teaching Profession to provide recommendations to help achieve this. 

But, we must also tackle the global education crisis more broadly.  Building on last year’s Transforming Education Summit, we are putting forward a policy brief that calls for the creation of true learning societies.

We need action in three areas. First — to revolutionize education so that learning systems meet the needs of today and tomorrow.  This includes scaled-up digital tools, new curricula, expanded support for teachers and trainers, and bold investments in education and training systems.  Second — we must overhaul current education systems to make lifelong learning a reality for all.  And third — education and learning must be recognized as a global public good with greater international support to ensure truly transformative educational opportunities for all.

Humanity is depending on the boundless energy, ideas and contributions of young people.  Their future depends on quality education, training and skills.  Let’s meet this challenge together.

For information media. Not an official record.