RewirED Summit Launch of UNESCO Futures of Education report
A high-level panel at the RewirED summit in Dubai focused on the messages and recommendations from UNESCO's newly released Reimagining our futures together publication.
The session was keynoted by Her Excellency Sahle-Work Zewde the President of Ethiopia and the Chair of the International Commission on the Futures of Education. President Sahle-Work presented an argument that we are presently at a turning point in human history. She called for education to be transformed to redefine our relationships with each other, with the planet and with technology. "Reimagining our futures together will require a movement -- and many individual and collective acts of courage, leadership, creativity, and care that can ensure more just, inclusive, and sustainable futures for all.
Other participants in the discussion chaired by Stefania Giannini, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Education, included Maha Yahya, Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Lebanon and Arjun Appadurai, emeritus Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University (also members of the International Commission) and Jide King, a youth educator and youth leader who is currently a curriculum development and instructional designer at WAVE, the West African Vocational Education organization. Jide and WAVE work to help young people in Nigeria and beyond to build work-ready skills and enter the labor market.
Framing the discussion, Ms. Giannini emphasized that at time of global uncertainties education is the essential ingredient for reimagining and transforming our future. In order to succeed, we should enable all citizens, especially most marginalized ones, shift the center of educational gravity to a wider body of activists, community organizers and advocacy groups, and teach students of all ages that uncertainty is a fundamental feature of our lives, said Arjun Appadurai. Maha Yahya discussed rethinking education in a way that considers a space for education as a fundamentally important aspect. She stressed that the design of schools has a potential to encourage interaction, collaboration and go together with the design of pedagogy and curricula. Finally, Jide King pointed that going forward we must do more than just teaching young people to be better employees but rather teaching them how to continue to learn. “The world is changing, and the school has to equip individuals with tools that are needed to deal with the changes by teaching them how to be lifelong learners”, he concluded.