World Innovation Summit for Education, Doha: Day 1

16 Nov 2009

  We have had lots of stimulating debate on Day 1 of summit.  Some highlights:

Impressive opening speech from Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Misnad. This was not just a ceremonial speech but was delivered with real passion and insight from the originator of the idea of an education summit.

Her Highness had strong words about the imminent failure of UNESCO's 'Education For All' pledge to provide basic education for all children in the world by 2015.  She said she 'feared this was still on the shelf and, indeed, is about to enter into a coma unless we revive it'.

Highlighting the 'I' in the WISE conference title, she said 'innovation should be at the heart of education'.

 The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova (on her first day in office) agreed that 'education is still not a right for millions of people'. She warned that the current economic crisis was now threatening sustained educational development.

 'We do not know yet the impact of this crisis'. And she added - in a  message to governments - that 'Education For All' will not be implemented without funding.

Later during breakout and plenary sessions, several suggestions were made for inclusion in the summit's final declaration. They included:

  • The need to focus on quality as much as on access in education provision.
  • The need to foster 'learning to learn', so all young people become lifelong learners.
  •  The moral necessity of gender equality in education, particularly where girls do not have access to basic school education.
  • The obligation on Higher Education to take responsibility for the quality of provision at lower levels of education.
  • The urgent need to focus on educational needs in  conflict-affected fragile nations.
  • The need to set up a global 'think tank' of young people, drawn from many different countries, to advise policy-makers on what works in education.

The final declaration will appear on the WISE website:









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