NEW YORK, March 29, 2017 – For the second year, the Center for Global Education at Asia Society served as an organizational partner to the Varkey Foundation’s Global Education & Skills Forum (GESF), which was held last week in Dubai. The Forum annually brings together world leaders from the public, private, and social sectors and educators and practitioners from around the world, to find solutions to achieving education, equity, and employment for all. This year, more than 2,000 participants from 140 countries, including 40 national ministers of education, gathered to discuss how education can develop “real” global citizens.
Drawing from the Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society’s success in working with schools and school systems to prepare all students for a global world, CGE Director Tony Jackson presented education policy strategies to prepare globally competent students in an interconnected world.
“Educating youth in the four domains of global competence that undergird global citizenship will allow them to be both globally competitive and globally collaborative, and is essential for their wellbeing and for the wellbeing of all,” Jackson said. “There are three critical policy levers that can steadily increase the capacity of education systems to develop globally competent youth at scale: curriculum, teacher capacity, and technology.”
These three levers come together in Asia Society’s partnership with Arizona State University (ASU). Both organizations are working to take Asia Society’s global competence teacher training program online, with an introductory course to launch in summer 2017. ASU’s Assistant Vice President of EdPlus and ASU Online Chief Operating Officer Leah Lommel spoke in Dubai about the power of technology to close the digital divide and provide learners who might not otherwise have access with education and training to prepare them for life and career.
The Center for Global Education was also invited to participate in the Global Citizenship Alliance, alongside organizations such as UNESCO, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Aga Khan Foundation, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Sesame Workshop, and others. Convened annually at the Global Education & Skills Forum, GESF Alliances are a network of invitation-only groups that convene and collaborate around key education related subjects. Each alliance is made up of 8-12 experts who come together to promote innovative thinking and incubate projects, campaigns, and events for the public good. The Global Citizenship Alliance will present the resulting resources and tools on global citizenship education at the 2018 Global Education & Skills Forum.
A number of CGE council members also presented at the Forum, including UNESCO Director-General and CGE Honorary Co-Chair Irina Bokova, who spoke about education in the midst of crises and catastrophes and moderated a parliamentary debate on the relationship between education and the rise of populism; Harvard University Professor Fernando M. Reimers, who held a side meeting on how to best respond to rising intolerance in schools in the United States; OECD Director of Education and Skills Andreas Schleicher, who spoke about five ways to transform schools for global citizenship education; and Teach for All CEO and Co-founder Wendy Kopp, who spoke about reimagining education for the future.