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

September 22, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski

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 discrimination†…’ 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 Systems: 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 down. 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 time. 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 goal. 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, USA: 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 you. 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 sector. 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 sir. 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 patience. 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.