16th September 2022
Statement on the Occasion of the Transforming Education Summit
Soka Gakkai International issued the following statement welcoming the Transforming Education Summit, held at the United Nations, New York, 16, 17 & 19 September 2022.
We welcome and support the holding of the Transforming Education Summit and UNESCO’s Reimagining our Futures Together: A New Social Contract for Education. While our world is facing multiple crises, from the Covid-19 pandemic to the climate crisis, from increased conflict to rising inequalities, any solution starts with education. Transforming education is therefore essential to the unleashing of people’s potential to build a safer, more equal and peaceful future. A strengthened capacity to cultivate learning, the weaving of education into every thread of our social fabric, the permeation of a sense of commitment and a responsibility as educators—such concrete developments, and not simply politics or the economy, are what will determine the future.
Our roots date back to 1930 in Japan, when two school teachers, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and his colleague Josei Toda, founded an organization dedicated to promoting educational reform. They believed that education should focus on enabling the development of independent thinking and unlocking the unlimited potential of every child.
Education should transform people, cultivating their inner wisdom to create lasting happiness and peace. It should inspire hope. It should engender agency in a person to take action in their own unique way no matter their circumstances. We should aspire for transformative education that empowers girls and women and progresses gender equality; respects and upholds human rights; encourages climate action; and advances peace and disarmament.
As we anticipate the start of this historic Summit, we hope that the following points, based on our 2022 peace proposal authored by SGI president Daisaku Ikeda, can contribute to the ongoing discussions on education:
Prioritizing discussions on education in emergencies and importance of inclusive education
Focus on global citizenship as a crucial means of fostering a consciousness of global solidarity
Developing and adopting a global action plan for the learning, growth and happiness of all children
We hope that the Summit commitments lead to concrete implementation at local, national and global levels, creating a lasting shift for a global community that truly values education. As a grassroots movement and an NGO supporting the UN’s agenda, we continue to stand ready to assist this undertaking. Recognizing education as a foundation for the renewal and transformation of our societies, we commit to realizing a new social contract of education. We commit to envision and enact transformative education in our areas of work, thereby fostering the Culture of Peace.