May 27, 2015, by Emma Lowry

UNESCO education report unveiled at World Education Forum in Korea

Former Prime Ministers Gordon Brown (UK) and Julia Gillard (Australia) were among panelists at the recent World Education Forum 2015, debating recommendations in a new UNESCO report, co-chaired by an education expert from the University of Nottingham.

Other high profile delegates among the 1500global education leaders, ministers, policy-makers, UN agencies and teachers at the four-day event, which was held in the Republic of Korea (19 – 22 May), included:

  • Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General
  • Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO
  • Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2014)

Prepared by a panel of international experts, co-chaired by W. John Morgan, UNESCO Professor of the Political Economy of Education and Amina J. Mohammed, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, the UNESCO report, entitled ‘Rethinking Education: towards a common global good?’ was presented during a panel discussion on day one of the Forum.

The report urges education to contribute to a new vision of sustainable global development; moving beyond literacy and numeracy to support economic growth towards ‘humanist’ approaches to learning for ‘greater justice, social equity and global solidarity’.

Key themes included:

  • A responsive and flexible approach to life-long learning and training in light of rapidly changing, global economic forces
  • Equality in education to curb social tension, political instability and violence, particularly against women
  • Mobility of learners and workers across international borders and the new skills required
  • Educators’ role to prepare new generations of ‘digital natives’ to deal with the ethical and social dimensions of internet use, such as political mobilisation, cyber bullying and terrorism
  • Neurosciences and their potential to improve future teaching and learning practices
  • Education curricula designed to improve the capacity of people to address environment and development issues
  • Educators’ central role in fostering critical thinking and independent judgement

In addition to Gordon Brown, now UN Special Envoy on Global Education; and Julia Gillard (Global Partnership for Education), other panelists discussing the report’s conclusions included James Heckman, Laureate of the 2000 Nobel Economics Prize and Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, Peru’s Minister of Education.

The ‘Rethinking Education’ report can be ordered online – in PDF or hard copy format – via UNESCO Publishing.

Posted in International