The Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) Ministers of Education have adopted a Ministerial Declaration which makes firm commitments on the areas identified as education and training priorities for the BRICS Member States.
The declaration was adopted at the 10th Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education, held in Mpumalanga, as part of the build-up to the 15th BRICS Summit scheduled to take place from 22 – 24 August 2023, in Johannesburg.
During the meeting, BRICS Member States identified eight thematic areas as education and training priorities, and these include climate change, entrepreneurship development, skills for the changing world, mutual recognition of qualifications, out-of-school youth, labour market intelligence, early childhood development and university global ranking.
The meeting was held in parallel with the BRICS Network University and BRICS Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Cooperation Alliance, which both culminated in the declarations, where the Member States committed to working together on matters of mutual interest for the prosperity of the nations.
The meeting aimed to deepen cooperation and exchanges to improve the responsiveness and relevance of education and training in the current global context amongst BRICS Member States.
Higher Education, Science and Innovation spokesperson, Ishmael Mnisi, said the Ministers’ Declaration is premised on a shared vision of mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and consensus.
Through the declaration, the Member States commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13, which is to combat climate change and its impact.
“This commitment to develop an alternative system includes exploring the development of an evaluation system that emphasises the quality (as opposed to quantity) of research outputs of universities and their diverse contributions to inclusive development of all humanity. Such a system would also seek to integrate cultural and indigenous knowledge of each country, respecting our member states’ diverse cultures,” Mnisi said.
The members also committed to strengthening entrepreneurship development at all levels of education and training amongst BRICS Member States, and impart the requisite skills for students to consider self-employment as a valuable career path.