The Caretaker Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, Hon. Tanangada led the Solomon Islands delegation to the 2024 World Digital Education Conference held in Shanghai, from 29th to 31st January 2024.
The Conference was co-hosted by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO and Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. This year, 2024, is the second year of this conference. The Conference was held in Beijing from 13th to 14th February 2023.
Hon. Tanangada highlighted that, “Solomon Islands participation in this very important conference means that we are paying great attention to digital education. Solomon Islands is quite remote when it comes to digital education connectivity, however, we can learn from such significant conference and apply the digital education to our context. We will cooperate with China and other advanced countries to develop our digital education, and we hope China will continue to support us in our quest for quality education.”
The conference welcomed over 800 participants, including 400 guests from 70 countries and regions, as well as various international organizations. Special guests included high-level officials from Switzerland and other countries; senior officials from UNESCO, OECD and UNICEF; Education Ministers from nearly 20 countries; Ambassadors to China and representatives from 40 countries and international organizations; and presidents of various universities around the world.
Using the theme “Digital Education: Application, Sharing, and Innovation”, the conference discussions revolved around topics including Improvement of Digital Literacy and Competency of Teachers, Education Digitalization and Learning Society Construction, Global Trends of Digital Education Development and Evaluation Index, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Ethics, Challenges and Opportunities of Digital Transformation for Basic Education, and Digital Governance in Education.
The Minister of Education of China, Dr. Huai Jinpeng emphasized that, over the past year since the first World Digital Education Conference in 2023, countries across the globe have formed a growing consensus on promoting digital education and have taken more impactful actions to enable such transformation. He added that China would build global cooperation platforms for digital education so as to contribute to the implementation of international development, security, and cultural initiatives.
As a guest speaker, Ms. Simona-Mirela Miculescu, President of the 42nd General Conference of UNESCO, noted that digital education is a powerful force for improving learning quality, increasing inclusiveness, addressing global challenges, and enhancing implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She called on countries to provide more open and free public digital learning platforms, covering all learners, especially disabled people, girls, and women.
As part of the conference, China had also issued reports on digital education levels across the world, as well as its cooperation with other countries. The conference also witnessed the release of various publications, including the inaugural edition of the journal Frontiers of Digital Education, the Global Digital Education Development Index, the Chinese Smart Education Development Report 2023, a compilation of digital education cases worldwide, and the Shanghai Initiative for the 2024 WDEC. In addition, the conference also features an exhibition entitled “Digital Education in the Future.”
Hon. Tanangada expressed her thanks to her counterpart, Dr. Huai for providing the venue, hospitality, dialogue-exchanges, informative parallel sessions and the deliverable outcomes. Furthermore, the caretaker Minister wishes to acknowledge wholeheartedly all contributors and participants of this conference for making it an enlightening and beneficial two days of great learning.
The next world digital education conference will be held in Wuhan, Hubei Province.