Last November, Teach For Sweden marked its official launch with its first inaugural event, Teach 2013. The event gathered leaders from various sectors in Sweden for an evening of discussion, debate and celebration, beginning with a recognition ceremony of Teach For Sweden’s inaugural cohort and key supporters.
“The primary factor responsible for our successful launch in 2013 was our ability to attract and connect the different sectors in society to engage with our theory of problem,” says Teach For Sweden’s CEO, Ida Karlberg Gidlund. “Over the past two years, teacher unions, politicians, business leaders, the public sector and other organizations have united around our shared model: that leadership is the core of the solution to ending educational inequity. This support has enabled us to recruit top talent, work with municipalities to place our candidates, and secure financial support from both the public and private sectors.”
Among Teach 2013’s featured speakers was Shisir Khanal, CEO of Teach For Nepal, who described his experiences launching the program in a nation where education can mean the difference between life and death.
While the educational landscape in Sweden—where just 55% of students whose parents lack higher education are eligible to apply to high school, compared to 93% of students with educated parents—is in many ways very different from that of Nepal, “It was important for us to share how we are part of a global movement and that the challenges in Sweden are similar to many countries around the world,” explains Ida. “We wanted to bring to life how we can learn from the network by offering different solutions, stories, and examples.”
Shisir’s presentation highlighted the deep commitment and sense of possibility of Teach For Nepal Fellows, many of whom—like their students—walk extremely long distances in order to reach their schools.
Khanal’s inspirational speech, like his visit to Sweden, highlighted the Teach For All network’s core values of constant learning and mutual responsibility. During his time in Stockholm, Shisir not only spoke at Teach 2013 but also had the opportunity to visit a Teach For Sweden participant’s classroom and connect with local foundations.
“Our hope is that we can help Teach For Nepal find new funding opportunities as a result of this visit to Sweden,” says Ida. “Teach For Sweden is proud to be part of the global network and a partner in our shared vision of excellent educational opportunities for all children. Teach For Nepal’s recent visit has only strengthened that feeling and our sense of possibility!”