By Alice Mukashyaka Advocacy Manager for Livelihoods and Education for Restless Development and Global Partnership for Education Young Leader
As the world reaches a critical point between the Transforming Education Summit and the SDG Summit scheduled to take place in September 2023, there is an urgent need for actions to break down the barriers that keep 244 million young people out of school. This blog announces a new partnership with Restless Development and the GEM Report. Together we aim to mobilize youth globally to inform the development of the 2023 Youth Report on technology and education, exploring how technology can address various education challenges, including issues of access, equity and inclusion, quality and system management.
Education online – a case in point
After the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the education sector is still in recovery. The pandemic had a profound impact youth, with the most vulnerable learners being hit the hardest. The global shift to distance and online learning resulted in many less privileged communities losing their means of connection to education, and some of the gains made towards the goals of the Education 2030 agenda were lost. As a result, the 2023 GEM Report on technology and education due out July 26 in Montevideo comes at a critical moment to reflect on how to accelerate progress towards SDG 4.
Technology can enhance the learning experience, address educational challenges, and prepare learners for the jobs of the future. STEM education, in particular, is essential for promoting innovation and economic growth and equipping learners with the skills they need to succeed in the current technology-driven world. But it also raises concerns over privacy, data protection and sustainability.
The 2023 GEM Report will investigate the ongoing debates around technology and education. It will explore how technology addresses issues of access, equity and inclusion, quality and system management. It will also acknowledge that some of the proposed solutions may have negative consequences.
In this fast-changing world, technology is crucial in providing learners with access to a wide range of resources and information. With technology, learners can access educational materials from anywhere at any time, collaborate with peers, and engage in interactive learning activities that promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed concerns about the inequality in technology accessibility. In many parts of the world, young learners are not prepared for their future due to a lack of digital access in formal teaching and outdated curricula that don’t accommodate technology. To create a more inclusive, creative, and future-ready approach to learning, education systems must be transformed, which requires scaling up access to digital skills and decent infrastructure to ensure that no one is left behind.
A new partnership with Restless Development to mobilize youth globally will inform the 2023 Youth Report
We are pleased to announce the new partnership between Restless Development and the GEM Report to mobilize youth globally to reflect upon, question and debate the recommendations of the 2023 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report and inform the development of its youth edition. Building on the consultation findings with youth in the run up to the RewirED Forum in 2021 on technology, Restless Development will lead a series of youth-led regional consultations aiming to better understand the challenges and opportunities young people from around the world face when using technology in education and to hear their recommendations for policymakers.
The global consultation process will be officially launched on 26 April 2023 during a side-event at the ECOSOC Youth Forum in New York where youth activists and representatives will gather to discuss the themes that should be covered in the Youth Report. This is the first time that youth is involved in such early stages of the development of the report. Their views on the framing of recommendations for their region will be detailed and produced in the youth version of the 2023 GEM Report next to views from other regions and relating to the recommendations contained in the global GEM Report.
This first global consultation event will trigger a series of activities:
- A global survey on the key issues that the Youth Report should address: Youth and student organizations will be able to choose from a series of themes linked to the recommendations of the global report: equity and inclusion, appropriateness, sustainability, and privacy among others.
- A call for expressions of interest for youth organizations from around the world to organize regional and thematic consultations to inform the development of the Youth Report and take part in associated advocacy activities.
- An online consultation to collect thoughts from youth from around the world on the themes that the report should cover and recommend projects and good practices on education technology to inform the report.
We invite you to consult this page to see all the ways in which you can be involved!