From March 23-24, representatives from across the Teach For All network participated in the Varkey Foundation’s Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai. For the second year, Teach For All was a content partner of the annual forum that brings together more than 2,000 leaders from the public, private, and social sectors, and educators from over 140 countries, to discuss challenges and innovations in education. In line with the theme “Who is changing the world?” the event featured speakers and attendees who are innovating within and beyond the education sector to achieve education equity and employment for all. Teach For All hosted four sessions highlighting the network’s approach to developing collective leadership to ensure all children can fulfill their potential.
Facilitated by Teach For All’s Head of Africa Region, Vongai Nyahunzvi, the panel A world with regional education equity: The next generation of change-makers in Africa featured representatives of the network’s partner organizations in Africa. The panel included former Minister of Education in Zimbabwe and former Chairman of the Association for Education Development in Africa (ADEA), Dzingai Mutumbuka; CEO of Teach For Nigeria, Folawe Omikunle; and Director of Development at the African Leadership Academy, Tinacho Chitongo. Also on the panel were two current teachers in the region, Teach For Nigeria Fellow Bosede Ogidan and Teach For Uganda Fellow Charles Obore, who chronicled his journey growing up as an internally displaced person to becoming the first in his family to go to college. Obore turned down prestigious job offers to join Teach For Uganda, he explained, because of the opportunity to work alongside, and learn from, communities, as well as his strong belief in their mission. “Africa can only change if we invest in new young African leaders to change education,” he said.
Teach For All’s CEO and Co-founder, Wendy Kopp; Anseye Pou Ayiti CEO and Co-founder, Nedgine Paul Deroly; Teach For Ghana alumna and Education Officer at Create Change Ghana, Yvonne Asamoning; and Dzingai Mutumbuka participated on the panel How do we unleash more leaders who are changing the world? moderated by Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of International Education at Harvard University and a member of Teach For All’s Board of Directors. The panlists’ conversation focused on the need to invest in leadership development at the local level and rethink the paradigm of international aid, so that it supports local leaders and changemakers who have first-hand experience with the challenges facing their communities and powerful insight into potential solutions.
In addition to participating on the panel, Nedgine Paul Deroly gave a “Changemaker” talk about Anseye Pou Ayiti’s commitment to deeply partnering with Haiti’s rural communities by listening, leveraging existing solutions, and working collectively to create systemic change. Fellow network CEO Rahmatullah Arman, Co-founder of Teach For Afghanistan and a Malala Fund Gulmakai Champion, participated in a panel of on-the-ground girls’ education champions, and discussed the huge challenges Afghanistan continues to face ensuring girls are in school. Arman described Teach For Afghanistan’s approach to engaging communities to address the issue: “We knew the importance of including the communities in our work,” he explained. “We want champions raising their voices for girls from every sector, in every community.”
For the second year, Teach For All’s Global Learning Lab facilitated two sessions highlighting exceptional classrooms led by teachers from across the Teach For All network as well as former Global Teacher Prize winners. Led by the Global Learning Lab’s Director of Student Outcomes, Archana Iyer, and Global Director of Learning Ecosystems, Sarah King, attendees virtually visited innovative classrooms and then reflected on the key outcomes students in these classrooms work towards and the ways in which educators are reimagining education and making progress toward the SDGs.
Teach For All also took part in a closed roundtable in which international donors gathered to discuss the findings of the report Investing in Knowledge Sharing to Advance SDG4, launched during the 2018 United Nations General Assembly. An op-ed by Wendy Kopp published during the conference in the Financial Times on the topic called for a similar investment in local leadership and global knowledge sharing in education as has been successful in public health.
The forum closed with the presentation of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize, which was awarded to Kenyan teacher Peter Tabichi, for his dedication to his students in an under-resourced school in a remote community in rural Kenya. The Teach For All global network congratulates Peter and educators like him around the world who are committed to ensuring that students everywhere, no matter where they come from, can attain a quality education.