EFF debate: Global leaders agree on need for modernizing curriculum, expanding Learner Voice and Technology in Schools

Published: January 31st, 2013

31 January – London, UK – The sixth debate for Education Fast Forward (EFF) held this week at the Education World Forum emphasized the need for dramatic change in how education policy is shaped. Young learners from ten countries joined Ministers of Education and EFF Fellows to discuss how to involve students in policy decisions about education.

The debaters universally agreed that there is a pressing need to modernize curriculum so content is more relevant to students and helps them hone important 21st century skills. There was also consensus by both EFF Fellows and students that training is needed to enable teachers to more effectively use technology to support student needs. Students recommended that leaders use social media to ensure student voice is heard when making education policy decisions.

In closing the debate, EFF Fellow and Director of Education Practice Michelle Selinger surmised, “as the world is changing, so too must schools, and we shouldn’t wait until students complete school to prepare them for the world.”

The first annual EFF Ambassador Awards were given to Joseph Hindogbae Kposowa from Sierra Leone and Olivia Hill from Australia. Both students were recognized for their leadership in driving conversations about creating positive change in education. They will be invited to participate in future EFF debates and will share their thoughts about how to change education on the EFF blog.

The group welcomed new support from NESTA to help create the EFF Annual Bursary. Total funds amounting to £50,000 over three years from EFF fellows, Promethean and NESTA will be available for any party interested in putting issues debated by EFF into action in their community. Details on how to apply will be posted online at: www.prometheanplanet.com/eff.

EFF also extended official invitations to three new global leaders:

  • Ramji Raghavan: the Founder Chairman of Agastya International Foundation, the world’s largest hands-on mobile science education program for economically disadvantaged children and rural teachers
  • Tarek Galal Shawki: Dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering at the American University in Cairo (AUC)
  • Jim Buchan: Vertical Solutions Architect at Cisco International Ltd with a 28 years prior experience in the UK Public Sector Education system working at various levels

A complete listing of EFF fellows, their views on education and detailed biographies can be found online.

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About Education Fast Forward

Education Fast Forward brings together leading global experts and change agents from the world of education to discuss the topics that matter most. The forum addresses the key challenges facing governments, educators and employers both now and in the future, and aims to find practical resolutions. EFF is a co-collaboration between Cisco and Promethean.

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