THE importance of education and how it contributes to important issues such as climate change, resilience and sustainable development were some of the most important questions raised during the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers which was held in Nadi last week.
Commonwealth secretary-general Baroness Patricia Scotland said commitments made under the Fijian “bula” spirit would make a difference in future discussions and outcomes.
“The objectives must answer the question as to whether education could really make a contribution to resilience and also to help us to make our contributions more sustainable,” she said.
“The Commonwealth has 53 countries and 60 per cent of the people in the Commonwealth are under the age of 30 and we have 2.4 billion people.
“Climate change has affected each and every one of our countries.
“We’ve heard poignantly the impact that climate has had right here in Fiji.
“The conference started formally on the second anniversary of cyclone Winston and the pain that the cyclone caused Fiji will never be forgotten.
“And during the same period, we had hurricanes in the Caribbean which have devastated many islands — nine islands in total were affected.
“And then we had floods right across Asia and desertification out of the drop in rainfall.
“So the whole conference was about what could education do, is education relevant to sustainability and to building greater resilience for our people.
“And the short answer to that question was yes.”