Bridge Liberia MD Elected to represent Liberia as Chairman of the Education Commission at UNESCO
Liberia was also selected to the High-Level Steering Committee on Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Education 2030 for the next two years, a position that will also be held by H.E. Gblia.
Liberia’s elevation to the new position comes after Mr. Gbilia successfully served as Vice Chair for two consecutive terms for Liberia over the past four years, earning the overwhelming support of the Member States, specifically the African States (Group Va.), to win the position on a white ballot vote for Liberia.
The process occurred at the 42nd Session of UNESCO General Conference in Paris, France which runs from November 7th to the 25th, 2023.
In his previous post as Vice Chair, Gbilia dealt with matters related to TVET Education, Higher Education, Framework Design for the Implementation of Education Sustainable Development (ESD), developing international standards for Teacher Training Programs, the establishment of a future International Bureau of Education, and coordination of and support for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Education 2030.
In his new position as Chairman of the Education Commission at UNESCO, Gbilia has already adopted historic resolutions including the 1974 Recommendation regarding Education for International Understanding,
Cooperation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The Implementation of 41 C/Resolution 51 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab
territories. The establishment of a new Category 1 Institute in Shanghai, China (IISTEM). The adoption of the Programme and Budget for 2024-2025 (42 C/5), Part.II.A: Major Programme – Education.
H.E. Gbilia also reviewed and made amendments to Reports on the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 and the Berlin Declaration, Adult Learning and Education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and the Studies and Qualifications in Higher Education.
He was also able to adopt proposals that passed the International Day for Digital Learning and World Coding Day.
H.E. Gbilia now wants to ensure opportunities at UNESCO are created for young Liberians specifically through UNESCO’s Young Professional Program (YPP) and Mid-Level Professional Program (MLPP) amongst other functions.
For the next two years H.E. Gbilia will work with member states to develop a robust plan for Education in Emergencies. Liberia, as a resilient nation, has endured civil conflict, and this will be his legacy project.
After 43 years of absence on the Executive Board of UNESCO, Liberia also got elected on November 15, 2023, to the UNESCO Executive Board. With this new position at UNESCO, the Country shall endeavor to deploy cross-regional collective efforts to achieve shared objectives of Member States and to deliver tangible results to Liberia and the entire African continent.
As Managing Director of Bridge Liberia, the Liberian Government’s largest education partner in the Liberia Education Advancement Program (LEAP), this new portfolio will not only rally support to provide opportunities for the development of young and mid-level professionals, it will also support initiatives that will support education from the grassroots, an initiative that Bridge Liberia is partnering with the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Education to achieve for Liberian children.
Bridge Liberia supports over 300 government schools in all of Liberia’s 15 counties, including communities in the remotest parts of the country. Teachers at these schools are well-trained in teaching principles, techniques, and technological skills that a contemporary teacher needs for the effective delivery of learning materials in the classroom.
H.E. Gbilia used the opportunity at the 42nd General Conference ED Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to stress education’s pivotal role in lifting people out of poverty, reducing inequality, and laying a solid foundation for sustainable development.
“We collectively need to do more, and much better, to fully realize the transformative potential of education. We need to rethink how we approach education and organize learning, and ensure that education financing is increased,” H.E. Gbilia emphasized.
To achieve this objective, he suggested the need for education stakeholders at all levels to rebalance their relationships with each other, with planet Earth, and with technology.
He stated “Education is a stepping-stone to other fundamental human rights and the wisest investment Member States can make to build a just and sustainable future founded upon dialogue and mutual understanding.”
MD Gbilia reminded the delegates that transformation education and increasing investment in the sector is their charge to keep as key decision makers tasked with the responsibility to spark real change.
“Our organization provides global and regional leadership, coordination and monitoring in education, strengthens lifelong learning education systems worldwide and responds to contemporary global challenges through education. Let us recall that we are guided by the principles of human rights, inclusion and gender equality among others,” he pointed out.