The world is failing on access to education. We need an education revolution – and it starts in your local community
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We have seen how education has to face some big and critical challenges in order to trainee future leaders able to lead sustainable growth. However, world is actually failing in pursuing UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 aimed at making inclusive and accessible the quality education for all.
According to UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report, approximately 263 million children and youth are out of school. Along the actual track, we will be able to reduce that number by only 32 million students by 2030. At the same time, there is a big issue among teachers: the governmental policies are not following the poor employment and working conditions for teachers and education support personnel, including precarious contracts, unsafe work environments, high workloads, and low salaries. The issue basically depends on the wrong perspective: according to Katherine Trebeck of Wellbeing Economy Alliance and Dario Ruggiero of LTEconomy, most Countries use incentives and KPIs aimed at measuring the short-term performance, such as GDP, without taking account of a long term perspective that includes quality education, environment, happiness, or quality life. We all know that every sector of the economy has a vital stake in the renewal of education in the public sector, the places in every community in all of our nations, rich and poor around the globe, where students come to learn. The privatization policies are making the situation harder and harder. That does not mean privatization is bad: it means government and leaders must act and address the strengths to assure quality education without inequality between rich and poor. Schools are the crucial places where our children and kids study to become the future leaders. That is why a big common effort between Governments and Corporations is crucial: on one side, governments have the duty to give a assure and provide quality education services; on the other side, corporations cannot thrive in failing societies: strong civil societies, due process, equality, justice and social cohesion are factors enabling real economic empowerment. Corporations have the absolute social responsibility to give a strong contribution.
The digital revolution can bring a wide innovative wave if adequately managed: the digital technologies can allow to fulfil the social gap among youth, to reach out every children in every corner of the world, and to make education totally accessible. Thanks to the transformative capability of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and other innovations, a big cultural shift is happening at governmental, business and individual level.
Now is the time to to invest in and renew vibrant public education systems, with fully trained professional teachers, renewed fields’ portfolio, wide use of technologies, and well engaged students, if we really want a human-centred society. However, nobody can act alone: it is urgent a combination of strength among governments, corporations, NGOs. Many corporations such as Salesforce or Microsoft are doing a lot in US. Plus, there several projects in the world though which corporations adopt local schools: the project aims at supplying with technologies, support, volunteers’ engagement around literacy at the elementary school level, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in middle schools, and college and career readiness for high school students.
It’s as simple as adopting a public school, volunteering your time, providing technology and services or donating money. Each and every person, company and organization can make a difference in their local communities. We must all work together to take on this important challenge.
Ensuring our young people have access to the education necessary to create opportunities and be ready for the jobs of tomorrow is critical.