RewirEd, the global education platform, hosted by Dubai Cares, in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai and in close coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), has officially kicked off the RewirEd Summit (12-14 Dec) today at Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The three-day summit, which held as part of Expo 2020 Knowledge and Learning Week, is set to provide a platform to spark conversation among global education stakeholders in an effort to generate new ideas on how to tackle the future of education.
The first day of the summit saw the participation of more than 1,500 in-person attendees from 60 countries from around the world, focusing on topics around how and why education systems need to change to provide young people with better opportunities.
At the opening of the RewirEd Summit, H.E. Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Despite everything that has overshadowed these last two years, and the hardships that are still endured worldwide as a result of myriad challenges, medical, social and economic… education is still a central priority of every government, every community and every family on Earth. This tells us something. It inspires us to action. It also impels us to deliver concrete outcomes: a legacy manifested in commitments and key findings that will inform the next round of reflection and revision, and the next after that. Use the next three days to build and deliver that legacy. Imagine the possibilities… if we take all that we have learnt, and put it in service of the wonders we have yet to discover.”
H.E. Jakaya Kikwete Chair of the Board of Directors of Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and former President of Tanzania said: “Equity is core to our mission. In most partner countries, we help to bring gender equality through education. GPE has put gender at the heart of our strategy and we have hard wired this into all our operations. We help governments to identify barriers that affect boys and girls differently, close gender gaps and shut down stereotypes in communities. We are providing countries with capital to drive change. None of this is possible if we do not have the right data to help governments make decisions. The right solution is impact at scale, one that can reach all children and one that is affordable and has equity at its core.”
Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, said: “Youth must work alongside their governments, communities and private sector as full-fledged partners as well as beneficiaries. Accountability: education is a fundamental human right, a public responsibility. We need to look at youth to ensure that every young person is empowered and that no person is left behind. We must move to concrete commitment and dedicated resources and deliver action.”
Speaking at the opening plenary of the summit, H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, said: “We are at a tipping point of humanity. We may not see it, but we are there. And if education does not deliver on its promise to equip children and young people all over the world with the skills they need to tackle future challenges, then we will be known as the generation who did nothing when we could do everything. We have the means, we are all here, and we must act now.”
On his side, Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC, said: “A new combination of bringing people together to drive the agenda is needed. It is the role of the business community in this regard. Business has the responsibility to think about what jobs we have today but also what the future board looks like tomorrow. It is clear that the changes we have seen, that digital skills, digital IQ is paramount to any future world. This is the ability to create and innovate and adapt to a technology driven world; it’s the skills needed to lead in this new world. ESG is going to be fundamental to the world as we think about the planet, societal challenges, equity and good governance and prosperity. These skills are going to be baked into every job.”
The first day of the summit saw the participation of prominent global education leaders driving the discussion, including The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, the U.N.’s Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF; Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education; Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum; Alan Jope Unilever’s CEO.
The summit also hosted high-level thematic opening session titled: Youth, Skills & the Future of Work, hosted by Restless Development Youth Researchers, which reflected on the learnings and recommendations coming out of their Global Youth Survey, in conversation with H.E. Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth, UAE along with three global leaders, as well as youth advocates and activists.
The day proceeded with a host of high-level panels and breakout sessions by distinguished speakers and participants throughout the summit’s first day.
New Global Learning Platform for Young People Launched
The first day of the summit marked the launch of the Passport to Earning (P2E) platform.Unveiled by Accenture, Microsoft, UNICEF, and Dubai Cares, operating under the Generation Unlimited partnership, P2E is a new global digital learning platform for young people, providing 15 to 24-year-olds across the world with free, certified education and skills training – with content spanning across digital, foundational, role-based and technical skills. All certifications gained will support future employment and entrepreneurship opportunities made available on the platform.
UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report Released
Also announced at the summit was UNESCO’s Annual Global Education Monitoring Report, which called for increased efforts to guarantee free, publicly funded access to a year of pre-primary and 12 years of primary and secondary education for all children. The report also urged all countries to establish quality standards across all state and non-state education institutions to build a coherent education system for all learners.
Continuing the focus on pressing youth topics, refugee students presented on the imperative for higher education for refugees at the Emerging models of Higher Educationin Conflict session, with the speakers discussing the urgent action needed to ensure 15 per cent refugee enrolment in higher education by 2030.
Adapting New Paths to Greater Learning
Noteworthy sessions also included The Great Debate: Universal Secondary Education For All vs Alternative Pathways, which focused on whether other education models are better placed to serve young people in countries where large numbers of youth do not have access to secondary education, as well as a session on Transforming Education: A Route to Helping Young People Adapt to Climate Change, which drew on research findings from Uganda, showcasing the impact of climate disruptions on young people’s livelihoods, and the need for radical changes in education as a route to greater climate resilience and effective adaptation to the climate crisis.
With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to be felt around the world, the RewirEd Summit presents a timely opportunity for the world community to write a new chapter in education history. The outcomes of the summit’s keynotes, discussions and breakout sessions are set to help drive a new wave of innovation as the education community addresses the urgent need for a shift in education globally.