Davos Annual Meeting 2010 - Rebuilding Education for the 21st Century

Uploaded by WorldEconomicForum on 30.01.2010

Riz Khan, Anchor, Al Jazeera, USA:
Your Majesty, Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the
session on rebuilding education for the 21st century. I'm Riz Khan, I'll be moderating
the session, but it is very much something for you, the participants, so we hope very
much to get you taking part in this. Believe me, education is basically very much an important
topic, of course, and we'll be discussing why – which many of you know –
but we'll be discussing why during the next hour or so. I was wondering who I'd upset,
or maybe we'd all upset, having to come here at 9 o'clock, first session after the Google
party. We're still seeing people on the streets walking out of it, so it's a little worrying.
I'll try and talk quietly for those of you who haven't recovered from it!
One thing we do want to do is examine a number of issues here, and I'm going to just outline
those. If you've read the agenda for the session, you'll have seen some of the key issues we
want to touch on. We want to look at what's been achieved in terms of progress so far
for the 'Education for All' programme, and what are the remaining challenges –
what do they signal? We need to look at education and consider why it's important at a global
level: why should it be an issue that we look at as a global challenge for us, and what
action is needed from every stakeholder – the governments, the NGOs, and of course individuals
as well?
I have a wonderful panel here, of course, to discuss this, and a diverse range of views
– or, at least, a diverse range of angles from which to look at this session.
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, the Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan's with
us; she's a member of the foundation board of the World Economic Forum. We have Mr John
Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, who's joining us; Irina Bokova, the Director-General
of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization; Mr Trevor
Manuel is the Minister of the National Planning Commission from South Africa is joining us,
and Harold McGraw III, Chairman and President of the McGraw-Hill Companies.
One thing I always think about is how much things have changed since I was a lad, and
some of you will have heard me tell the story of a teacher, who had some very young kids,
who had come in after an afternoon break. And the teacher said, 'Now you've come back
from your break, we're going to look at spelling. I want to do some spelling.' And she picked
on one little lad, and said, 'Michael, what did you do during the break?' He said, 'Well,
Miss, I played in the sandbox with Catherine.' She said, 'Well, Michael, if you can spell
'sand', and you can get it correct, you can have a cookie.' So Michael confidently says
'S-A-N-D, Miss'. She goes, 'Very good, Michael, you get a cookie. So Catherine, you were in
the sandbox with Michael?' 'Yes, Miss. We built sandcastles, it was great fun.' 'Well,
if you can spell 'box', Catherine, and I warn you it's a little tricky – think about
it – if you can spell 'box', you can have a cookie'. So she's very nervous and
says, 'B-O-X, Miss?' 'Very good, Catherine, you get a cookie.' 'Muhammad, did you play
in the sandbox with Catherine and Michael?' He says, 'No Miss, I wanted to, but they threw
sand at me, they kept me out, they wouldn't let me play in there.' She said, 'Muhammad,
that's blatant racial discrimination. If you can spell “blatant racial discriminationâ€
Now fortunately – I know it's bad – times have changed a lot, and though we still
have a long way to go, and we want to – of course – put education very high
on the agenda to make sure that progress is made at the kind of rate we need to kind of
achieve the goals that have been set. As I say, we're very honoured to have a distinguished
panel. I'm going to kick off with a question to each person, because it's very much a non-speech
environment: it's very much active and participant. So I'll start, Your Majesty, if I may, just
by asking you – we look at one of the key questions we have here for this session,
and that is, 'Why should we look at education – education systems – as a global,
of global importance?'
Queen Rania Al Abdullah, H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan;
Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum; Global Agenda Council on Education
So as a global family, we came together ten years ago in the year 2000, and we said that
we would make education for all a reality by 2015. That was part of the Millennium Development
Goals. And we said that no country that's committed to achievement and education should
be thwarted by lack of resources. Now the way it looks now is that we have 50 million
more children into schools, but we still have 72 million children out of school. It would
cost us $16 billion to get all of those children in developing countries into primary education.
So far, we've only raised 3 billion. Now when you think of 16 billion, it might sound like
a lot, but if I put it into perspective, it is what the US just committed to retraining
and rearming the Afghan military and armed forces. It is half of what the United States's
consumers spent on online shopping just in the last holiday season. So it's very much
within our reach. But it's the priority issue, it's the sense of urgency.
Now if we were to look at all these scourges facing our world – all the intractable
problems – from poverty, hunger, disease, terrorism, climate change, all of these problems
can be relieved, if not totally solved, through education. The thing I find frustrating is
that it's very easy to get everyone to agree that education is important and is a priority,
but it's difficult to get them to realize that it's an urgent issue. And that's why
politicians, when they are lobbying and when they are campaigning, they're always use the
– raise the – education issue, but once they get elected, it seems to go
down their priority list, partly because the rewards from education take a long time to
reap, and it might not fit within the political cycle, so the sense of urgency starts to go
So it's really trying to say that actually education – and the lack of education
– is an unfolding crisis. It is an emergency. We've seen how economies have been
able to move mountains of money to shore up their economies, and only move molehills for
education. That needs to change.
Khan: Now of course building awareness is crucial, but what's to stop everyone coming
together in a session like this and saying, 'OK, we talked about education, great', go
away and forget it. As you say, it drops down the list of priorities. So is the first step
strengthening that awareness – making it very integral in everyone's priorities,
or is it getting the resources?
Queen Rania: Well, you know, once you raise the awareness, and move it up the global agenda,
then it becomes easier to raise the resources, because the resources are available. It's
just making people realize that it is important. It is a matter of life and death: seven million
cases of HIV/AIDS can be prevented in the next decade, if we educate, if we achieve
our 'Education for All' goal. A child is 50% more likely to make it past his fifth birthday
if he's born to an educated mother. So it is an emergency, but I think we live in a
culture of instant gratification, where we want quick fixes – and education is
really not a quick fix, it's a long term solution, but it's one that's sustainable, it's one
that lasts, and one that really works. So we just have to do the hard work of doing
it right, even if that investment – the returns from that investment take some
Khan: So it's investing in the future. Now John, John Chambers, having learned what Cisco
can do, I'm a big fan – it's amazing what your company is up to. Where does that
amazing technology and innovation that you're creating and being very much a part of, where
does that fit into this?
John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cisco, USA:
When you try to do something that no-one's ever done before, unless you do it differently
you'll get the same results, and so I think the points that Her Majesty raised in terms
of the numbers – they're actually, while we made improvement, they're scary –
the number of teachers we need, raising the awareness – but innovation is a way
of capturing ideas from a whole group of creations, and this is how we do our products now. So
you get a lot of ideas, you pick the best ideas, and there has to be a selection process
based upon the vision you want to end up with. And that's why I think defining the vision
of what our definition of success is: my definition of success is 3 billion people making less
than $3 a day: no-one's in that category in a given point in time. Standard of living
increases, et cetera.
Then you've got to select which ones you go with, and get an unusual combination of people
that traditionally have not worked together to work towards this goal: government leaders,
NGOs, academics, business leaders. I mean yesterday's session where we had sixty of
us together – at first, we were almost talking different languages! And then, within
a short time, we realized the power that we could do together, and then you've got to
realign resources. And as you realign resources, you have to retrain them toward the goal,
and then you've got to set very specific goals and make sure the accountability's there.
That's true in developing new products at a high-tech company, I think it's true in
fixing this problem and I do think it's manageable.
Khan: In a nutshell, you had some very high-powered people you met with on this issue yesterday.
What came out of that? What do you think was the core element of that?
Chambers: Well, what was fascinating is you put sixty people with this type of background
in a group and talk about it. This is really what the World Economic Forum's about: it's
getting people together that have a different background, like Terry and Irina, and you
think about how we provide our expertise, educate each other, come to agreement on what
the problem is, come to agreement on what the definition of success is, then say, 'How
do we innovate together?' And then how do you take the strengths of each other and combine
it in terms of a vision to make it happen?
There were eighteen CEOs in that session. I've never seen it ever before in double digits:
we've been doing it, Your Majesty, for a number of years. And fourteen of them agreed to say,
like Terry, 'We're going to be with you for the long run'. So I think it's now outlining
a vision, not just stating the cost, not just stating the problem, but a vision of success.
And once you get that vision of success, you can get people to play together toward that
Khan: Thank you. Irina Bokova, good to have you with us too. Now one thing that was interesting
– we were chatting before we came up onto the stage – was the issue of numbers.
A lot is talked about when it comes to numbers of kids in schools. What about balancing the
numbers with the quality of education? Not just quantity of education, but quality. How
important is it to make sure the quality is of the right level?
Irina Bokova, Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO), Paris:
I think this is a very pertinent question. We just published – launched –
the Global Monitoring Report on Education this year, which is commissioned by UNESCO,
made by an independent team. And all these figures that Her Majesty mentioned, and some
others well known about high level of illiteracy still in the world, about the dropout of girls,
the necessity to focus on women's and girls' education, about the marginalization –
marginalization because of different reasons – because of that children come from
poor families, or represent minority groups, or they are girls and are then not sent to
school. But I think that the agenda on education is enlarging, and we see more focus on quality
of education, and I think this is extremely important, because we talk about the quality
of teachers – we can't get good education, we can't improve numbers even, if we don't
have qualified teachers. We can't have qualified teachers if we don't enlarge the agenda of
education: if you don't include secondary education and higher education, if you don't
include science in education.
We have a lot of demand from African countries, for example, to help them include science
in their programmes. We can't talk about quality education if we don't talk about technical
and vocational training, and we can't talk about quality education if we don't talk about
education for sustainable development, so the agenda of education is included. But if
I come back to the first very excellent advocacy that Her Majesty mentioned about education
being a political commitment, I think that nowadays it's extremely important, and what
is also important is that business leaders come into the debate with a very strong voice,
and yesterday I could send that usually I am accustomed to sit with ministers, with
government officials, into meetings, and yesterday, there were business leaders. And we spoke
almost with one voice that education should be put onto the agenda of G20, as soon as
possible. The sooner we do it, the better results will come out tomorrow, with development,
with Millennium Development Goals, with getting out of the crisis, with innovation, with technology.
I think this is an extremely important message that should come out of Davos this year.
Khan: Interesting you raise that, as I get to Trevor Manuel from South Africa. Give me
an example of where political commitment has been made in South Africa to serve the people
there. Of course you have a very diverse nation of people – the rainbow nation –
how have you made that commitment, and basically, what are your priorities in that?
Trevor Manuel, Minister of the National Planning Commission (NPC) of South Africa:
Well, thanks Riz. I'm one of the breed of politicians that Her Majesty warned you against.
Education is our largest priority. It's been that since President Mandela first took responsibility
for governing the country, and President Zuma has joined in with Her Majesty's programme
on 'Education for All'. It's fundamentally important that we focus on this, but in dealing
with it. I think that we're understanding that, within education, the outcomes are too
often determined inter-generationally. So the children of more affluent parents, who
have... who are better empowered, who send their children to better schools, actually
have a better chance; and for the poor, there is a lottery.
You know, so in dealing with education – not the big policy issues, we've lived through
a number of changes including an endeavour at outcomes-based education – the key
issue is that there are probably between 4 and 500 million teachers in the world. And
the focus is not so much on the system as it ought to be on the teachers, because they
manage classes of between thirty and sometimes eighty children every single day all day.
And if you get that wrong, you then impair the future. And so I think that the focus
– our understanding's clearly that the focus needs to be on what happens in the
classroom, classroom management and school management ensuring the adequate distribution
of learner support materials, and also ensuring that there are regular upgrades of teacher
skills. You know at secondary school recently, a test was done in South Africa, and 37% of
teachers passed the test that had been set uniformly. And if you fail at that, clearly
your education system will fail.
Now the big problem in an audience like this is that it is, at one level, a money problem.
We've got to get access, and so the issues about access for all are fundamentally important.
That is a sine qua non: we can't do without that. But having done that, we then must empower
parents in the local environment, because if you don't have the oversight locally, we
fail. And this is why it's not so much money – you know, I was finance minister
for long enough. We are one of the million countries that funds education at the highest
level, but we're not getting the outcomes. It's about the local empowerment, and I'm
hoping that that's what we can talk about this morning.
Khan: Thank you. We'll look at some more examples are from South Africa, but as we look at the
developing world as well, Terry McGraw, one of the issues... your company has its fingers
across the world, you know, very, very entrenched, and you know the markets across the world.
When you have countries such as India and China, populations booming, the young population
is growing as well, what results have you seen from your efforts at connecting with
those people? Distance learning, for example.
Harold McGraw III, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, The McGraw-Hill Companies,
Well, thank you. It is, as you said in the very beginning, what education was when you
were growing up, and what it is today – has come a long ways, but the time frame has
just narrowed so dramatically. Digitization is the opportunity of the century, and it
is going to open doors and open paths to opportunities for so many people. When you talk about developing
markets like China, there is a huge gap between what people learn in schools – the
traditional system – and the skills on the other hand that they need to be able
to get a job, and to be able to be productive, on that one. And where we focus is right there.
We were talking a little bit about the vocational and the professional aspect of it. We're working
with a company called the Ambo Education in China, which is working on developing specific
skills to get into the business process outsourcing area. And these are not four-year programmes,
these are not two-year programmes, these are ten-week programmes, and twenty-week programmes,
where we can develop specific skills that is going to allow you now to enter the work
world. And workforce development, and building the workforce of this century is what it's
really all about.
We're doing the same thing in India. We're working with Tata in a joint venture that
we've had, actually, since 1970. We haven't done a lot with it. We've made some progress
and whatever. In the last two years, the progress has been expediential, and again, it's in
the vocational and in the professional area, where we can give you the skill sets, specifically
through these online learning platforms, that are going to allow you to get that particular
job. So building the workforce is what it's about.
Khan: Thank you. I'm going to open it up for those of you who want to take part with your
questions, please do put up your hands and we'll get microphones to you. Put them up
clearly so we can see them: you're a little in silhouette here, and I'll make sure that
we get you in the order that hands go up. Please let us know where you're from, your
affiliation and your name please, so we can at least involve there. Madam, you're first.
Roberta Bowman, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, Duke Energy:
Good morning. Thank you all for your contributions this morning. The issues that we face today
really span boundaries. At a session earlier we heard, 'Well, if only the designers would
talk to the engineers, we'd make great progress with sustainable design'. We heard from the
medical community, 'if the doctors and the engineers and the manufacturers would talk
together, we'd make huge progress in medicine and health and wellness.' The concept of quality
education really does require some redesign. I applaud the motivation around access, and
what happens in the classroom, but fundamentally, teaching people to think for the 21st century
is the role of education. I'm just interested in your comments on where we go there. Thank
Khan: John Chambers, please.
Chambers: When you look at something that hasn't been resolved before, what you're seeing
is what are you going to do differently. First, getting governments aware, getting the money
behind it, the political will to change, the end movement to what I think public-private
partnerships are going to be about: groups that have not worked together, Queen... Your
Majesty, very much like you did in the Jordan Education Initiative, very much like we did
in the Network Academies around the world: 3.2 million students educated with the UN,
with NGOs, with Cisco in ways to get jobs. What is different this time is groups are
beginning to learn how to work together with a process collaboration, and this is where
the young people really understand it, and it's probably an area we've not put the time
into. They understand gaming. They understand networking. They understand social networking
capabilities. They understand collaboration. And if we built more of our education around
how the young people train themselves, and how do we create the environment for it with
public-private partnerships, I think that's a large part of the answer.
Queen Rania: I totally agree that we need to get our global education house in order,
because right now the efforts are really fragmented, and we are just approaching it as business
as usual. You know, the same methods, traditional approaches, same players, and trying to achieve
different results: that's not going to happen. So we need a different approach: more entrepreneurial,
bold, creative, having non-traditional partners. For example, the health sector came together
many years back and tried to increase their efficiency by starting an overall body called
GAVI, and that has achieved incredible results. We need that kind of umbrella for the education
We need to think of what we thought were traditional players in a different way. For example, China,
India, we can't just think of them now – and Brazil – we can't just think of
them as recipients of aid, but as partners in development. The cross-fertilization of
knowledge in the developing world, so it's South-South learning, not just North-South
learning. So a lot of these issues, creative ways in terms of raising funds, we need to
break from traditional modes, so, for example, issuing education bonds on the capital markets,
focusing on standards, not just statistics, and ways to measure the standards: it's not
enough to just increase enrolment and say that we've closed the gender gap. What kind
of education are those kids getting? Are they getting the skills that they need when they
graduate to get them good jobs? So it really needs a whole new thinking, and different
players, new approaches to bring to bear to this sector.
Khan: And it's heartbreaking, your Majesty, as you mentioned at the beginning, when you
see how much in terms of resources are devoted to defence, that money channelled into education
might produce some of those results that you refer to.
Queen Rania: Exactly.
Khan: So thank you for your patience, I'll come to you in just a moment, sir.
Rajendra Pawar, Chairman and co-founder, NIIT Group, India:
Rajendra Pawar from NIIT in India. I've been involved in the global education initiative.
I think we've done tremendous amount of progress in creating new ideas of how things can be
done by involving many players, but I think, if I take this story – the analogy
of your sandbox – it seems to me we've taken the existing system of how government
runs education as the boundaries of the sandbox and worked within the sandbox. And the point
I want to make and get a response is – I think the boundaries are the problem. And
one specific issue, which, when I heard Manuel talk about accountability, the problem is
that the government system of education, the money flows from the government all the way
down to the teacher, and therefore, for the teacher, only that alignment makes sense.
Everything else is a pain. So they don't come to teach. They don't care about the kids.
So unless we can change that equation, all the good stuff we do in the sandbox will leave
us very dissatisfied. For example, we need to transfer accountability and control of
the village school payment to the teachers in the hands either of the local government
or a parent community. We see that in the best of schools, where our kids go. We have
a huge say in how things are done in the school. In the government system, it just goes upwards.
So unless we change that, and it seems to me if we change that alone, we can get at
least double the productivity without spending a penny more. I want to understand what the
views are of the panel.
Khan: Certainly, Trevor Manuel, could you answer that first please?
Manuel: You know, at face value, I agree entirely with what Rajendra is saying. The problem,
however, is that where teachers are more educated than parents, the power differential doesn't
work. We have in legislation the requirement that every school has a school governing body,
and that works pretty well, where parents are people like ourselves. We go to meetings,
we oversee, we need to know that teachers are in the class teaching. The most recent
study done in South Africa suggests that between schools in more affluent area, where there
is contact teaching time of about seven hours a day, and in poorer communities, and the
rural areas, where contact teaching time is half of that. Parents feel disempowered, and
that is why I'm saying that, in agreeing with you that one must empower local communities
to have stronger oversight, we need to then be able to ensure that parents feel empowered
and can maintain that oversight against people who are better educated and more powerful
than what they are in society.
I think that the other issue as well, for instance, is that, with IT, you know, we have
a situation where, in many respects, the IT divide is exactly the same. IT works well
where parents are more interested, and works less well where it's an alien concept. Now
these are the bridges we must build, because it's less easy than just looking at this as
a money problem. It's an unbelievably complex issue, and from what I've read, it's a similar
problem in countries as diverse as the UK, the United States, India... it's a universally
difficult issue, and this is what we must apply minds to.
Khan: I would just like a comment from Irina Bokova here on how, perhaps, UNESCO has had
to also change the way it approaches its work across the world, taking into account some
of the things that have been mentioned here: being able to create more local empowerment,
being able to make sure the resources flow to the right areas, and working to update
programmes, education programmes.
Bokova: I would like to say that, in this debate, one of our problem design principle
is that one size doesn't fit all, because in terms of education, we have entirely different
situations in different regions of the world, and we were talking here about middle-income
countries, and there, of course, one of the main idea and objective that we have is to
make more inclusive societies, to reach out to the marginalized, and the last report was
exactly about that: that even countries which have a huge also internally resources, they
have to make such systems that marginalized groups are also included.
Now I think that – and there, probably the question of the quality and of teachers
plays a huge role. I think that ICTs, and we are very much co-operating, I hope yesterday
we clarified all the different aspects of the private-public partnerships that we have
with the companies are represented here, and some others, in terms of educating and training
of teachers, which would be an ongoing activity. And then, of course, introducing also to the
classroom. The big question here is certification of teachers. We see, in many parts of the
world, teachers, 50% of the teachers do not have the certificate given by government or
by any other organization in order to teach: they are not qualified to do that. And we're
trying to put programmes, we have launched the Global Teachers Initiative last year,
and we are trying to put a specific emphasis on teachers. No ICT can substitute a good
teacher. At the same time, no qualified teacher can introduce also good teaching without ICTs.
So it goes hand in hand, and we are promoting exactly this kind of partnership.
Khan: Thank you. I'll get you in the order they came. Gentleman here please, go ahead
Tihomir Kamenov, Bulgarian Society of International Law, Bulgaria:
Kamenov, Bulgarian Cardiac Institute. In my organization, we have a one of the first private
university hospitals in Europe, which is quite rare. We teach students in advanced cardiology.
So the new Director-General, perhaps, would give us a little bit of guidance about everywhere
you turn today, you see invigorating of private-public partnerships. The main problem, actually,
in these areas, even though the success of GAVI is recognized widely is improving access
of private educational providers. I know John Chambers for many years, I don't ask him,
I ask the new Director-General of UNESCO – improving access of private educational providers
to public funds, what UNESCO would do in this? Please, how you going to educate us all, and
particularly how you going to educate the governments out of the crisis?
Khan: Response, Miss Bokova?
Bokova: Well, we're, as an intergovernmental organization, we are enlarging, as I said,
the partners, in fact. I have a new Director-General for the last two months, I have just established
the task force on exactly on the partnership with the private sector, and I think, mainly,
we do have partnership also in all cultural activities, in science, but we are mainly
focusing on education, based on the good experience we have with Cisco, with Intel, with Microsoft.
As I said, we are very much introducing new ICT technologies, and that helps a lot. But
I believe that the responsibility of governments should not be underestimated, and enlarging
partners for education doesn't mean that we shift responsibility from governments. I think
this is extremely important to be kept.
Chambers: One of the things we talked about in innovation was trying different things,
and I think it's very important, as we move forward on this debate, that we not only view
it as a multiple, variable equation, we've got to solve all the variables, but we've
got to try different approaches. And I've found that, very often, when we come up through
a system, asking the people who came up through the system to fix it may not come up with
the most innovative ideas. So I'd argue that it needs to be a combination of the two. Government
needs to be heavily involved and committed, but we ought to try some new radical approaches
in the process, and we've got to have the courage to take risk and not punish failure,
and then pick a couple of the risks that work, and then scale them very quickly.
Khan: A quick comment, actually, from Terry McGraw on this. In terms of your work, you
deal with professional and vocational training, and I wonder, when it comes to innovating
and changing what's needed and dealing with the demands on you, how much flexibility do
you have to be able to move with the times?
McGraw: Well, you have quite a lot of flexibility. I mean, I think that everybody comes with
a different set of conditions. Every country comes with a different set of conditions.
It's not so much the resources, it's the involvement, the awareness, the access to a broader understanding.
Your comments about, you know, getting a better focus from a G20, or something like that,
starts to bring all of this together. Again, I come back – the digitization aspect,
you know, opens the door of opportunity like never before.
And so, you know, whether we're talking about a specific professional area, where we can
get after a vocational training and targeted aspects to it, or we're talking about primary,
you know, education: it is – really – all about being able to get after,
and I think the question about the critical thinking skills is the common standard that
we've got to implore. It's not the one way road: you know that 'I'm going to teach you
this, and you're going to have to learn this, and you memorize this'. It's the ability to
think and the instructional materials and a lot of the things that we're doing are starting
to come up with this capability of, 'Hey, whoa, you happen to have these certain skills
and capabilities, but you need to be able to think through the process'. And so the
instruction materials, and again, the digital aspect of it, you know, is really helping,
you know, to make more people think through the problem.
Khan: Rick Levin was next, please. Good to have you here, sir.
Rick Levin, President, Yale University:
I think there's some obvious connections between what Mrs Bokova, Mr Manuel and Queen Rania
are saying on the one hand, and what Terry McGraw and John Chambers are saying on the
other, and that is Terry McGraw talked about digitization as a means of vocational education,
and Mrs Bokova, Mr Manuel and Queen Rania are expressing the importance of properly
certifying and educating teachers, and making sure that teachers have the adequate skills
to do their work. So I wonder what Terry McGraw and John Chambers might have to say about
how we can use this digital technology in an innovative way to educate teachers around
the world. What's the... what are you thinking about that?
Khan: John, perhaps first I go to you...
Chambers: I think teachers give their lives for the students, and so I think we've got
to do a better job of educating the teachers, and I think the way you have to do it is through
broadband. The exciting thing is almost every country in the world is now putting out broadband,
so you can suddenly change it. Second is, you've got to do it through video. Video and
collaboration skills are the future, and we found that, if you give the teachers the tools,
and give them the education, they'll pass it through. So I think actually the solutions
are there, and it goes back to what to we are alluding to: it's a human network of different
backgrounds that pull it together.
Khan: Are you noticing that technology is more widely available? Because there's always
this question of, 'Who has access to it?' 'Who has the ability to connect to this?'
Chambers: Well, I think that's important, because when we asked the G20 to support us,
or you ask CEOs, they're going to say, 'What's different?' And I've just come through six
countries in the last week. You are seeing the build-out of broadband in every major
country, and you're seeing the commitment from UN and other groups to say, 'Where countries
can't afford it, we're going to find a way to make it happen'. So I think that tipping
point is in front of us, and I think the political way is in front of us. The key is - can we
show the leaders our vision of how we do it together?
Khan: OK. I'm just going to go to Terry first, and get a comment on that digitization of
learning and how it might help teachers, and Irina, if I could come to you...
Bokova: Just to follow on what John said, because it's exactly what me and Mr Hamadoun
Touré, the Director General of the International Telecommunications Union were doing yesterday.
We were sitting together, and we were putting up a new initiative – I mean, it's
a little bit preliminary to mention it, but once we're on this topic about the broadband
in education, so we will try to put such an initiative, to combine forces, ITO, private
sector and us, with what we think as a priority on the content, probably will start with African
countries, we have a couple of interest also, and it's important.
Then something also on the digitalization: we have an extremely interesting project,
very successful, that we started with the Library of Congress of United States on the
digital libraries. So it's an open sources, it's one of most successful projects we have,
33 libraries, and we have another 30 who are interested in that.
Khan: Terry, sorry, go.
McGraw: Well, I'm probably going to get in a little trouble here. When we start talking
about teachers and teaching and things, we put way too much pressure on teachers. Everybody's
got to be an Aristotle, and everybody's got to be able to invent and create in the classroom,
and they're not supported well enough. And so a lot of the NGOs that are very successful
– and I'm thinking stateside, of the National Academy Foundation, the Harlem Village
Academies – you know, all these kinds of – Teach For America – they
all put this onus on a teacher, and 'We're going to find a very bright person, and allow
them to create in the classroom' and all those kinds of things. Well, you're not going to
be able to replicate that. And therefore, what we need to do in supporting teachers
is to be able to allow them to have the capability to navigate.
Now if you are dependant, again, upon your conditions – and what country and where
you are and all this – the awareness level is where you have to go. You got to
get up: you got to get out of your 1,000 foot level, and you got to get up to a 50,000 foot
level and see what other people are doing, and how they're creating, and how they're
doing that. But we need to help teachers to be able to navigate a classroom, and the way
to do it is now through a lot of the digitization that we've been talking about. For us, we
produce a pupil edition, if you're talking just print now, a pupil edition, and we produce
a teacher edition. What we're doing and what we're pushing for aggressively is to getting
a very digital teacher edition that allows for a very open and far more friendly way
of helping a teacher be able to master the subject that they're teaching and to be able
to go that way and we'll push and continue on that part.
Queen Rania: I just want to say that, you know, quality education is a sum of many components
that are all essential. You know, a good curriculum, great infrastructure, technology... but I
do feel that the one element that can switch all of these things on is a quality teacher.
You know, without a great teacher, are the smart boards in the world, all the computers
in the classrooms become irrelevant and redundant. And without getting too technical –
let's look at some examples that have actually worked.
Finland is one of the countries that arguably has one of the best educational systems in
the world, and when they tried to look at the secret of Finland's success, they found
that they have the best teachers. So immediately, you'd assume that they must be paying them
extremely high salaries, and that's why they're so great. But they found that their salaries
are average compared to other teachers in Europe. The one thing that's different is
that the teaching profession is very competitive: only one out of ten people who want to enter
actually get accepted. In other words, only the best teachers will do for children in
Finland. And what this has done is made this profession very prestigious, very competitive,
very respected. The teachers are professionally invested in the running of the schools, the
parents are socially invested in the teachers, so the teacher feels that he has ownership
in the school, and he feels respected by society.
And that's one thing that I feel that we need to bring back is, over the last few decades,
the profession has lost some of its prestige. You know, I remember with my grandfather,
he was a teacher, and people just look up to the teachers – the doctor and the
teacher that everybody turns to to solve their problems. So bringing back the prestige, the
respect, ensures that we bring back the quality that we need in the classroom, and I think
that has the major effect on us. I'm sure that every single one of you in this audience
remembers a teacher that either inspired you, or that turned you off a subject.
Khan: So it's treating it like a profession, as opposed to just a job. And actually I was
very blessed with teachers: I go skiing – I'm still in touch with many of my high school
teachers – I go skiing with one of my teachers, my biology teacher, every year.
And he used to always say to me, 'I'm not here to teach you biology, I'm to teach you
how to learn biology'. But then again, when he didn't know an answer, he used to just
say, 'I'm not an oracle', which I thought was a copout. Mr Ocampo, thank you for your
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, Argentina:
I am Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court. I have a question
for all the panel, and it's about how you use education to prevent violence. That's
my problem. My duty is to prosecute people, but then the prevention is for the states
and they had to prevent using education, I guess. And Queen Rania is insisting inside
here new methods, and Queen Rania and Mr Manuel are talking about teachers, and Mr Manuel
also talk about local communities. And then Mr Chambers and Mr McGraw are talking about
digitalization, modern systems. And she said, the Queen say, how to combine North-South
problems – North-South solutions. And that is the question for the panel: how to
help the teachers on the ground, the local communities that Mr Manuel talk, with your
tools – and maybe cannot reach your tools. How you can work with them. How to
combine these tools.
Khan: Trevor Manuel, first-hand experience from South Africa, how do you combine the
world of digital access and advancement and innovation technology with the local roots
in the community?
Manuel: OK, let me set up some trouble here this morning. Anecdotally, teachers are scared
of IT, because if you take a thirty year old teacher and put them in a class with seven
year olds, give them each a computer, in ten minutes, the seven year olds are going to
be all over the computer, and the teacher can only go as fast as they've learnt. So
there is a great fear – there's a great fear in applications and so the investment
in the teacher actually needs to take account of that.
The second issue, which I think is somewhat understated is the value of reading in feeding
the imagination for cognitive development. I think too few people read and reading is
too small a part of our education systems everywhere: so that's a plug for one part
of the McGraw-Hill business. And I'm not against you, John, we need to bring in the IT.
Chambers: No, whatever he loads, my networks carry.
Manuel: OK. I think the other issue is getting incentive systems right. Again, wealthier
parents can afford to supplement a teacher incomes, poor parents can't. And that's frequently
where we lose out. And then, I think that we need to bring into play more strongly the
international benchmarks like Tim's. Evaluate at every stage the teaching of maths and science
and the learning ability of learners and make an intervention if the numbers look wrong.
You see, I hear about the G20 and South Africa's part of the G20 – I've been part of
it since establishment. The key, however, is that it's a G194 issue. It's not something
that you can confine to richer countries and middle-income countries. It must extend across
the globe, and we have to get this right: we don't have a second chance. And so we must
go – I don't think it's big change issues. It's finding the right methodology
and making the appropriate interventions.
Khan: John, please.
Chambers: You know I'm going to add one thing. I think we're at a point where we're in a
little bit of danger of designing an education system for ourselves and our generation. We
were brought up with the concept of a PC, a broadband capability – my children,
who are in their late twenties, multi task at three to four different activities at the
same time, so to educate them the proper way would have been – a teacher could be
physically or virtually there, a teaching assistant is answering their question, which
they're texting in, students are answering the questions back and forth, they're collaborative
learning. Now that sounds like, perhaps, where we should go – but I am going to challenge
you further. That's for my kids.
The kids that are ten to twelve to fourteen years old do seven to eight tasks at the same
time. So when we design the education system for the future, we've got to take innovation
and skip a generation. And don't let somebody who doesn't understand that, including myself,
design the interfaces. We need to really get a group together that can bring this new creativity
to life.
Khan: John, a quick question – when you're looking at these remarkable innovations
that allow people connecting over distances, they can learn from remote locations –
how do you build in the need, especially in the developed world, where it's easy for kids
to sit in front of computers and do everything, how do you build in the development of social
skills, the interaction in the playground, the interaction between peer to peer interaction
that's necessary for full development?
Chambers: Well, if you watch how everything from public relations to the media of the
future will be, actually their peers help to police the groups. They develop communities
of interest, they reinforce their proper behaviour, etc. That doesn't mean we don't have to help
them teach it, but I think you will find that, the way the companies are run in the future
will be social groups working together where they largely encourage themselves and have
processes in place. We've got to create the environment for it: I think the same thing
will happen in schools. Terry, if you give kids a system, they will figure it out themselves.
If you allow them to interact, they will go naturally where this future is: they already
understand it from gaming.
Queen Rania: I'd also like to just add, the fact that our kids are exposed to so much
technology and they're exposed to so much online presents us with challenges with our
children that our parents didn't have to face with us, and re-emphasizes the importance
of teaching ethics in schools, and really building a strong foundation of values for
our young kids. Because there's only so much we could do as parents in policing our kids
when they're on the computer. You don't know what they're exposed to. So that really brings
into play the importance of teaching work ethic, of teaching tolerance, et cetera. Again,
our communities, now, as well, have changed, for many decades, because of immigration,
we have such diverse communities. How do you get the social harmony without teaching children
about cross-cultural dialogue, tolerance, compassion, respecting our differences, all
these things are new things that – well, they're not new things, but they're
more important now than they were a couple of generations ago.
Khan: Just got a few minutes left... I'll try and get to... sorry, Terry.
McGraw: Just going back on what John was saying. The technical capability today has outpaced
the current generation of capabilities in terms of teachers and that part, and the notion
of skip a generation is a very powerful one, and one of the things that we have to think
about in the here and now is how do we help cope and deal with folks that way. In the
business world, we do professional training all the time: it is constant learning, constant
growth and the like. With teachers in particular, we give them a certain set of skills, we put
them into the marketplace, and the teacher training and ongoing growth and development
and learning is slowed down. So we've got to figure out – because the kids have
got it – they're going to learn it, and you don't have to give them a lot of instruction:
they'll adapt. And so how do you get a very active youth, OK, to interface with somebody
that's used to teaching in a different way? And that goes from elite universities all
the way down to primary grades.
Khan: Thanks for your patience, and we'll try and get to all the hands that went up.
We don't have a lot of time, but Ruben, I think it is? Please.
Ruben K. Vardanian, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Troika Dialog
Group, Russian Federation:
Ruben Vardanian from Russia. I'm the investment banker, but my three generation – my
grandfather, grandfather, father and my father were professors. And I think we – Her
Majesty said about the prestige and the role model. I want to come back to discussion about
the point I think is key. The role model the teacher, the teacher who you teach you not
only knowledge but also various example of the behaviour. How you can see the quality
and quantity of the process is going now, when role model the teacher going down and
prestige going down, and moral respect for their teacher, which was before huge, and
everyone in the village was respected the teacher number one or number two person, it's
never been very well paid, teachers has always been not very well paid, but they were respected
in the society. Not any more. How we can keep the prestige of teacher in our society where
is the, we are not in the show business, we are not in the sportsmen, we are not the business
people. And they are not here in the World Economic Forum: I can see the elite does not
include the teacher, like part of the key element of society's success.
Khan: That's actually a very interesting point that's been raised in this forum, about the
need for teachers to get respect and have their status. It'll actually be that gentleman
next, sir. Irina Bokova, if I could ask you to touch on that – could there be something
done as part of the 'Education For All' campaign, or part of the education system improvement,
that allows for a better promotion of teachers and their standing in society? Even if their
pay scales are not going to be raised to higher levels, at least their position and the respect
they deserve is built into the system.
Bokova: Well, I think that the fact that we have this debate here also about the role
of teacher is extremely important: it brings the message to business leaders, to political
leaders. We have launched last year this global teachers' initiative. We have to know that,
in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, of having primary education for everybody
until 2015, we will need all over the world 10 million teachers. It's an extremely impressive
figure, and we have to think of how we train them, how we teach them, how we finance education.
I think it's intimately linked to the question of financing of education. That's why I think
that G20 has to take up this issue. Her Majesty Queen Rania mentioned that we will need 16
billion dollars every year until 2015 if we want to reach this figure.
And then, of course, is the overall question of all different kinds of partnerships and
co-operation. I think, for that matter, South-South co-operation also can play an extremely important
role. We have at UNESCO a South-South co-operation fund for education, and we are trying to promote
this cause. There is a lot of potential of having good examples for that matter, but
it's a huge challenge for all leaders.
Khan: Sir, you're waiting patiently. Thank you.
Participant: Today we are talking about quality education, but as a parent, and some of yourself
who has a young children might have the same experience I think: that is, high quality
education easily give away when low quality contents coming through internet. How much
is the children are addicted to the games and online, and I had trouble with this, because
I have my children, and I'm running one of private equity firm, which heavily invest
in the game myself. So...
Khan: It's coming back to haunt you!
Participant: So what I did last year, I have the summer camp for gifted children in which
I organized a contest for the children to come up with games, online games, in which
they contest each other on the issue of the climate change. That is the issue for the
primary school kids, but I was amazed how much, how good the quality was when actually
they end up producing. And the government recognized the effectiveness so, Korean government
has decided to bring this issue to the education programme, and I myself not only involving
in this content industry as businessman, but I am also the Chairman of Content Korea, which
is a task force to formulate the policy for the Korean content industry. So I could...
this game idea to our education system. So, from my experience, I like to strong recommend
that you take a look at this possibility of bringing games...
Khan: That's true, actually. John, a quick comment on that. You know, the video game
industry is bigger than Hollywood now: it's a vehicle which kids totally are embracing,
and it's a primary source in many ways for them to learn new skills. Can that kind of
environment be used in a positive way – not where parents, of course, are worried
that they're just going to sit there and just play games without learning anything?
Chambers: Well, the answer is absolutely yes, and secondly, our kids expect us to do it.
But if I could, Her Majesty would probably be too modest to say this, so I'm going to
say it: Jordan did it right. Queen Rania and King Abdullah outlined a vision for the country.
They were their country. They began to teach the basic skills, change the role of teachers.
They encouraged business to come in and play a key role here, NGOs to do it. They started
local groups, and Rubicon is an example, developed games in Arabic for math and science, trained
the students, we began to locate jobs there, and they brought all these groups together.
So, you know, I'm going to kind of challenge this. I think these public-private partnerships
not only work, they work well, but it's got to be a complex algebraic equation with somebody
owning it, and then getting each group to play at that level. Is that a fair statement,
Your Majesty?
Queen Rania: Absolutely, and thanks to your input as well, you know. You're referring
to the Jordan Education Initiative, which was born out of the Forum, and which brought
the private sector from inside of Jordan outside of Jordan, companies such as Cisco to work
in partnership with the Jordanian government. We've started a hundred discovery schools,
and we've been using a lot of the new technology, new materials, and testing it in those schools.
So those kinds of innovative partnerships really go a long way.
Another one is Madrasati, which is a programme that I started two years ago. Now if you told
me before you two years that any entity other than the Ministry of Education is going to
be involved in our public schools, I would have said 'No way', you know, because that
was only the domain of the government. But then what we did is that we identified the
worst-run public schools, and we got members from the private sector to come and help us
fix those schools and members from the NGO community. So we have 70 partners now: we
fixed 200 schools, and what's really been amazing for me to see is the synergy that
has arisen, the fact that the communities feel so empowered, whenever I go to those
schools, I always get the sense of there's a buzz of productivity and prosperity –
a sense of purpose. And I really do believe from this experience that we really need to
– somebody in the audience was mentioning that we need to – break that more:
that it's not just the government. And once that mould is broken, then that opens up a
whole load of possibilities for us to really perfect the educational work.
Khan: I'd like a quick final thought from you, Your Majesty, on something that I know
that you're very, very passionate about, that education can change, for example, the Middle
East region, which has its troubles, which has its issues, from resources through to
political conflicts – how can education change the region?
Queen Rania: Yes, if we just get away from the technical a little bit, and just go back
to the human side, you know. Why am I passionate about education? For me, it's about justice,
and John, you say this all the time, that it's a great equalizer. All of us are born
with advantages and disadvantages: you might have a rich dad, somebody else might be extremely
good looking, you know, whatever. Education is one way to really mute the disparities
between people: to really give people the chance to make the most of the opportunities
that are presented to them, and to create opportunities. You know, I've heard it said
that the saddest thing is not death, but the saddest thing is when your dreams die while
you're alive. And I think that that's what happens when you're illiterate. You know,
you don't have a chance – you get trapped.
When I look at my region, the Middle East, I feel that education can really be the balm
that can sooth a lot of the social ailments that plague our region. If you look at our
demographics, 60% of our population is under the age of 25. So – and that said –
we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. One out of four of these young
kids don't have a job. So they're – I call them – a generation in waiting,
because they're stuck in this transition between schools and the workplace, and part of the
reason is that the educational system has failed them: it hasn't given them the skills
to get a job. And that, in spite of the fact that, over the last ten years, we've had one
of the fastest – very fast – rate of economic growth, but that hasn't reflected
on job creation.
So what's going to happen to these young people? They have an irrelevant education, and they're
frustrated. That's what can lead to radicalization, extremism. The converse is also true: great,
if you look for who are able to create jobs for these young kids, then you could really
see a tsunami change in the region. That demographic bulge can be a major change in outlook, in
mindsets, in thought process; it can really transform our region.
If you look at Palestine, there are 108,000 Palestinian kids that don't go to school today.
That's up from 4,000, ten years ago. These kids are growing up under the shadow of an
occupation, they're scarred by conflict, they see no hope, no future. How can we expect
for there to be any sense of normality without an education, you know? And I personally have
given up on the politicians of this generation on both sides of this conflict, and I feel
that the future is with the younger generation. And you know, the fact that we need to try
to erase the prejudices and the deeply-entrenched hatreds, and that can only happen through
a quality education. Look at Iraq: 2 million kids don't go to school in Iraq. Their daily
lessons are in violence, in hunger – how is Iraq going to move forward without
getting those children to school?
And finally, women. Now in different Arab countries, women have achieved different levels
of progress in the economic and social fields and political fields, but there is... it's
all variation, the situation is a variation of a common theme and that is gender injustice.
And it's only through getting our girls into school, making sure that they reap the benefits
of their education by being in the workplace, by having curricula that addresses some of
the stereotypes against girls, that's when we can really to change mindsets. So in a
region that's now very much associated with extremism, I think it could be a region associated
with hope – and the only way to achieve that is through a quality education.
Khan: Thank you. Well, as always, we have so many issues, and so many fantastic issues
have been raised that need more discussion. I hope it's something that doesn't stop here,
and does carry on. We never have enough time in these kind of sessions to touch on everything,
and to expand on everything, and I apologize for those of you who had your hands up and
we couldn't get to your questions. It's important, though, that education is now being so seriously
taken. You know, we're reading the signs, so to speak, and I always say it's important
to read the signs correctly.
In Virginia, where I'm based, in Washington DC area, a state trooper, a policeman, drove
onto Route 10, onto the freeway, and saw this car driving very, very slowly, and he was
like, 'This is more dangerous than someone speeding', so he was a bit worried; he pulled
the car over, and it was filled with very elderly ladies – excuse me –
very elderly ladies. And he walked up to the driver, this old woman, sitting there at the
wheel, and he noticed the passengers' ghostly pale faces: they were terrified, you know.
And he said to the driver, he said, 'What are you doing?' She said, 'Officer, I'm just
driving at the speed limit.' He said, 'What do you mean, driving at the speed limit? You're
going so slowly'. She said, 'No, it said ten, and I'm driving at ten miles an hour.' He
said, 'No, no, ten is the name of the road, it's not...' She said, 'I saw the sign: ten'.
He said, 'No, no, that's not the speed limit, it's Route 10. You're on Route 10: that's
the name of the road.' So she was embarrassed, and said, 'I'm sorry'. He said, 'I'm just
going to give you a warning this time, but before I let you go, I have to ask you –
why are your passengers – they look terrified. What's happened?' She said, 'They'll
be alright in a moment. They just got off Route 120.'
Important to read the signs properly. Please, a big warm thanks to our panel for raising
so many key issues.