UKFIET, along with BAICE, hosted the London launch event of the 2019 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report on Tuesday 20th November. This tied in with other launch events happening globally on the same day (e.g. Berlin, Bangkok and Nairobi), and up to 60 events happening over the next month (including in Scotland).
The main focus of the 2019 GEM Report is migration and displacement. It presents evidence on the implications of different types of migration and displacement for education but also the impact that reforming curricula, pedagogy and teacher preparation can have on embracing diversity.
Welcome from UKFIET
Professor Freda Wolfenden, Executive Committee Chair for UKFIET, opened the event by welcoming a room of around 150 people. She pointed to UKFIET’s unique role in brokering engagement between different constituents across the international education and development world. Indeed this event brought together panel speakers and audience members from across UK Government, the donor community, education and humanitarian experts, researchers, civil society organisations, teachers, students, parents, etc.
Main findings from GEM Report
Sébastien Hine, Research Consultant from the GEM Report Team, then presented the main findings from the report. He started by showing a brief video, produced by the UNESCO team. The main message enforces the fact that people who are on the move around the world, whether by choice or otherwise, never leave behind their right to a basic education – education needs to adapt to the needs of refugees and migrants to allow them the potential to transform both their lives and those of host nations.
The Powerpoint slides and audio recording of Sébastien’s presentation can be viewed here. The slides include infographics pulling out some of the salient points relevant to both national and international audiences. A set of seven key recommendations are also outlined for policy and practice going forward.
A short animation concluded the presentation. This reinforced the need to recognise migrants and refugees in education planning, budgeting and data collection. The underlying main message was that of embracing diversity through tolerance and acceptance. Education builds people’s resilience and sense of belonging; it also opens our minds to different cultures and helps all of us to face the unknown in the world of increasing diversity.
Barbara Serra, news presenter and correspondent for Al Jazeera English, moderated a discussion with two panels of esteemed guests. The first panel focused on the need for safe, quality and inclusive education in displacement and drew attention to the role of the international community in supporting countries in strengthening education policies and planning to effectively respond to current and emerging humanitarian situations. This panel consisted of:
- Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly, Head of Education Policy & Advocacy, Save the Children
- Emma Gremley, Senior Education Adviser, UK Department for International Development (DFID)
- Tejendra Pherali, Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development, University College London
- Fadi Halliso, Co-founder and CEO, Basmeh & Zeitooneh, and Gulmakai Champion, Malala Fund
A second panel discussion focused on strategies to foster an inclusive education system with a focus on diversity. Speakers shared examples of current initiatives from across the UK to promote better interaction amongst families, schools and local communities and support societies to become more culturally aware, cohesive and tolerant. This panel consisted of:
- Emma Williams, CEO, Student Action for Refugees
- Kiri Tunks, President of the National Union of Teachers section of the National Education Union
- Andria Zafirakou, Teacher and 2018 Global Teacher Prize winner
Kiri referred to the publication by the National Education Union – Welcoming Refugee Children to Your School: A National Education Union Teaching Resource
A few reflections on related issues were provided by panellists in brief video interviews.
Do you want to share your thoughts on the GEM Report or the discussion at the London Launch event?
We welcome short blog articles from all of our members at any time during the year. This may be viewpoints from a recent event, findings from your research, highlights from a recent publication, shared lessons for policy, etc. As a guide, we ask for a maximum of 500 words and please provide links and references where appropriate, as well as relevant images if you have any that are free to share. Examples can be seen on the UKFIET website https://www.ukfiet.org/forum/
Please submit your articles to: firstname.lastname@example.org