The “Inclusive Education & Skill Development: Opportunities and Challenges in the Digital World” one-day Policy Dialogue event was organized by the C20 Gender Equality & Disability and Education & Digital Transformation Working Groups, in Bengaluru, on April 5, 2023.
It was hosted by the Bengaluru International Centre, and marked the first collaboration between Amrita University, the Center for Civil Society and Azim Premji Foundation.
150 participants attended both in-person and online, representing 20 countries — India, Indonesia, Malaysia, France, Cabo Verde, Timor-Leste, Nigeria, Ghana, British Indian Ocean Territory, Pakistan, United States, Nepal, Costa Rica, Japan, Andorra, Russia, Gambia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Turkey.
Indian Co-Coordinator of the C20 Working Group on Gender Equality and Disability, Dr. Bhavani Rao, Ms. Lakshmi Sampath Goyal, CEO, Centre for Civil Society, and Mr. Sudheesh Venkatesh of the Azim Premji Foundation, presided over the event.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India.
A Special Address was delivered by Shri Ritesh Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Government of Karnataka.
The Distinguished Address: Ms. Justine Sass, Chief, Education for Inclusion and Gender Equality, UNESCO. Special Remarks were delivered by Smt. Uma Mahadevan Dasgupta, Additional Chief Secretary, Panchayati Raj, Government of Karnataka.
Following the inaugural session two breakout thematic discussions took place along two themes.
The discussion on the theme of, “Ensuring Inclusive and Equitable Access to STEM Education and Skill Development,” was moderated by Ms. Shamin Mehrotra, Visiting Faculty at Azim Premji University and Director, Ummeed Training Centre, Mumbai.
The discussion on the theme of “Leveraging Technologies for Capacity Building and the Future of Work,” was moderated by Ms. Bhavya Mehta, Consultant, Science & Technology Policy, Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi.
Dr Akila Radhakrishnan, Social Policy Specialist, Education and Skills for Social Mobility, UNICEF, Mr. Akash D Sethi, Chief Executive Officer, Quest Alliance, and Dr. Medha Somaiya, Director, MAD’s Solutions and Services for Social Initiatives contributed key perspectives to the discussion on Leveraging Technologies for Capacity Building and the Future of Work.
Ms. Janaka Pushpanathan, Director – South India, British Council, India; Ms. Maya Menon, Founder Director – The Teacher Foundaton and Smt. Manju Shree Srivastava, Trustee and Vice President, Ekal Foundation participated in the panel on Ensuring Equitable and Inclusive Access to STEM Education and Skill Development.
Their interventions were followed by viewpoints and suggestions from other CSOs representatives, government officials and experts, present online and offline in respective breakout rooms. The concluding session highlighted summarization of discussions in both the rooms by respective moderators.