During the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last week, Teach For All participated in several events focused on advancing progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4, to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Two years since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is a renewed sense of momentum around tackling the global education crisis that is hindering millions of children from attaining the education they deserve, and threatening progress and stability around the world. The 2017 UNGA events saw numerous world leaders committing to finding solutions, from financing education, to providing education in emergencies, to advancing girls’ education.
As part of the implementation of the Education Commission’s recommendation around investing in an “ecosystem” for education to support local capacity, promote cross-border learning, and the sharing of innovations, Teach For All co-hosted an event on September 18 entitled, “What Global Education Can Learn from Public Health: Strengthening a Global Ecosystem to Achieve Quality Education for All.” Discussions highlighted the lessons local and global education advocates and practitioners can learn from the successes and challenges of their health sector colleagues. The event was co-presented by the Center for Global Education at Asia Society, Teach For All, Results for Development, and the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, with support from Credit Suisse.
Wendy Kopp shared how her experiences at the national level with Teach For America and globally with Teach For All led her to realize that most issues education leaders around the world are addressing have similar root causes. "The silver lining is that local leaders could be learning so much from each other across borders,” she reflected. You can watch the full panel discussion here.
On September 19, Wendy participated in a panel at the Guardian’s annual side event to UNGA on sustaining momentum for pursuing and achieving the SDGs. She was joined on the panel, “They’re in school but are they learning: exploring the most effective ways to spend the global education budget,” by women leaders in the fields of education and health. During the discussion, Wendy highlighted that local leaders, including teachers, school leaders, education system leaders, and others, are crucial to ensuring the world achieves SDG 4. Liesbet Steer, Director of the Education Commission, noted that the commission’s Learning Generation report recommends that education systems need to be open to innovations such as diversifying the education workforce, and that Teach For All is developing leaders who are improving education and expanding opportunity inside and outside of the classroom.
Teach For All’s Global Director for Social Innovation, Lucy Ashman, was among the judges of MIT’s Solve Challenge, which seeks to solve four global challenges: brain health; sustainable urban communities; women and technology; and youth, skills, and the workforce of the future. ScriptEd, a social enterprise founded and led by alumni of Teach For America, was selected to be one of the 10 winning ‘Solvers’ of the challenge. Alumna Rebecca Novak presented ScriptEd’s solution, which was recognized for its strong approach to impact measurement, quality control, and ambition to scale.
On the evening of the 19th, Benedict Joson, a Youth Advocate for Education and Teach For All’s Partner Engagement Associate, was among the speakers at “P&G Presents: An Evening for Girls Education" during the Global Citizen Movement Makers event. Ben’s remarks highlighted the important role that youth, particularly young men, play in advocating for gender equality and girls’ education, and mentioned Teach For All’s Global Girls’ Education Fellowship, through which participants from several network partners are educating students and their communities about girls’ education.
This annual event gives the global education community the opportunity to reflect on progress made so far on SDG4, and what’s necessary in ensuring that these incredibly ambitious and collective Sustainable Development Goals are met by 2030. We’re thrilled to be able to contribute and continue to learn from and with fellow colleagues committed to inclusive and quality education for all around the world.