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    ICESCO to hold on Thursday Virtual Extraordinary Islamic World Education Ministers Conference

    12 May 2020

    “Education systems in the face of crises and emergencies (COVID-19)” is the theme of the Extraordinary Conference of Education Ministers of the Member States of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) which to be co-held virtually on Thursday 14 May 2020 by ICESCO and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President of the current Conference’s session.

    The opening session of the Conference, which will kick-off at 12:00 a.m. (Makkah Al-Mukarramah time), features addresses by Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh, Minister of Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President of the Conference; Dr. Youssef Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB); Ms. Stefania Giannini, Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Education; and Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General.

    The first session will be dedicated to the topic “Role of artificial intelligence in developing education systems” to ensure safe continuity of the education process. Speaking at this session is Mr. Andreas Schleicher, Director of the Directorate of Education and Skills at OECD.

    Then in the second session, several Ministers will review the experiences of their respective countries and the field challenges they have faced during the Coronavirus crisis. The aim is to share expertise, reaffirm the right to education, and explore ways to address dropout, which exacerbated due to school closure. The floor will be given to the ministries of education of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Burkina Faso.

    The third session will focus on Member States’ preparations to ensure school return in case this pandemic continues for a longer period, taking into account the warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) against premature easing of lockdown restrictions and the guidance framework documents issued by international organizations regarding preparations for a safer school return. In this session, the floor will be given to the ministers from Palestine, Malaysia, Egypt, and Chad.

    In the fourth session, the participants will discuss the “Comprehensive Humanitarian Coalition” launched by ICESCO to establish a global humanitarian approach to face crises and emergencies and help Islamic world countries face this pandemic. The ministers from Azerbaijan and Senegal will provide the essential information about the Coalition, its objectives, and achievements since its announcement by ICESCO.

    At the close of the Conference, several of the attending ministers and heads of international organizations will speak during a dialogue session, adopt the Conference’s declaration, and deliver closing addresses at the closing session.

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