IPPF ESEAOR and Family Planning New South Wales (FP NSW) were present at APREMC-II, which took place in-person in Bangkok from 5th to 7th June 2022. This Conference’s theme was ‘Education Recovery and Transformation towards more Responsive, Relevant and Resilient Education Systems: Accelerating progress towards SDG 4-Education 2030’.
The Conference served as a platform for education stakeholders to share successful and innovative education initiatives, discuss challenges, and explore opportunities to accelerate learning for all children and youth, especially for the most vulnerable.
Many education stakeholders highlighted that while the COVID-19 pandemic has presented the region with untoward challenges, it has notably exacerbated a pre-existing learning crisis in Asia Pacific. These substantial learning losses and worsening access to education have led to significant setbacks that jeopardize the region’s prospects for collectively achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
Some highlights of our work:
- IPPF ESEAOR co-hosted a side event titled “Building Inclusive, Resilient, Gender Equal Societies through Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)” along with UNFPA Asia Pacific and UNESCO.
- We, alongside CSO partner ARROW, used the opportunity during technical sessions to highlight:
- CSE is an early intervention strategy to address gender inequality, gender-based violence, early and unintended pregnancies, and the spread of STIs.
- Recognize that the provision of CSE is integral to improving the health and rights of adolescents and youth; and realizing gender equality and sustainable development.
- Transformative education should include a multisectoral approach – education and health sector, civil society, private sector, and other stakeholders.
- Infrastructure needs to be prepared for learners, e.g., sufficient water, sanitation and menstrual health facilities and services in schools and integrate menstrual health into school curricula and ensure that teacher training incorporates menstrual health into comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).
- Family Planning NSW, as part of the youth cohort speaking at the closing ceremony, emphasized the importance of equipping young people with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to care for their sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing.
The outcome document - Bangkok Statement 2022 - comprises a series of priority actions and recommendations while acknowledging the region’s extensive diversity and need for contextual approaches to learning in Asia Pacific. The Statement sets out two ‘priority actions’: 1) Safe School Reopening, Learning Recovery and Continuity of Learning; and 2) Transforming Education and Education Systems.
The Bangkok Statement will be shared at the Transforming Education Pre-Summit held on the 28th to 30th June in Paris, France, and the SDG4 Education 2030 High-Level Steering Committee meeting in July 2022. Continued advocacy for CSE and SRHR will be pivotal for the global Transforming Education Summit (TES) during the United Nations General Assembly in September, generating tangible actions and partnerships to transform education systems for all learners.