Meeting at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa
Marrakech, Morocco 25 October 2010
HRH Prince Hussam bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Prince of Saudi Royal Family; Chairman, Zain Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia
Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani
Vice-President, Education, Qatar Foundation, Qatar
Senior Vice-President, Middle East and North Africa, INJAZ Al Arab – JA Worldwide, Jordan
The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Education Systems concluded in its 2010 Report that despite the significant global progress achieved in access to education, the issues of quality and relevance remain critical. Stronger, higher quality and more relevant education systems supported by sustainable funding and delivered by integrated cooperation between multiple stakeholders are urgently required. Too often, access to education has been promoted at the expense of quality. Schools rather than equipping youth with the critical skills required for success in today’s globally interconnected world, merely further propagate social inequality and exclusion.
In the Arab region, quality of education is intensely critical given its demographic and social implications. Although progress has been made in some key areas such as basic enrolment, millions of youth leave school without employable skills, and millions more emerge from university lacking the capabilities needed to compete for entry into private sector employment. Youth unemployment in the region averages 25%, and there are deep concerns about the quality and relevance of existing education models to provide the skills required for economic growth and development in the 21st century.
Through the Global Education Initiative’s groundbreaking multistakeholder partnership models in education (MSPE) in Jordan (2003) and Egypt (2006), the World Economic Forum has demonstrated the potential for systemic and positive changes in national education advancement in the Arab world when there is clear government leadership and vision, and when key stakeholders are given the opportunity to collaborate. The time is now for the Arab world to build on these experiences and initiate the changes required to begin a region-wide transformation in education.
With policy transformation on education reform as a core theme, the Education Summit will convene leaders from the highest levels of government, business, academia and civil society with key stakeholders from the education sector to drive a paradigm shift aimed at unlocking the true potential of the Arab world and develop a roadmap focused on three key building blocks:
– Redesigning assessment and testing systems to establish the right incentives to
stimulate and support innovative approaches in the delivery of education, particularly oriented towards the development of advanced competencies such as civics, ethics, global citizenship, problem solving, entrepreneurship, innovation, good health and long living
– Integrating innovation and entrepreneurial thinking into the education process to enhance the impact on the quality and relevance of education
– Creating a network that welcomes and better facilitates the engagement of all multi-stakeholders in the governance of national
Who can participate in the Summit?
Participation in the Education Summit is by invitation and is reserved for senior business leaders from Partners and Foundation Members participating in the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, members of the Global Agenda Council on Education Systems, members from the Regional Agenda Council on the Middle East and the Young Global Leaders. Government and civil society leaders, teachers, headmasters, university presidents, students and education professionals from the Arab world and beyond will also be invited to lead discussions.
Strategic engagement of Partners
The outcome of the Education Summit will be the development of a roadmap that defines the actions and commitments required to catalyse the region-wide education transformation urgently required for the Arab world to realize its full potential. Experts from the Forum’s Global Agenda Councils, leaders from government and civil society, and senior business leaders from Forum Partner companies – especially those from the Arab world – will be invited to co-design the programme of the Education Summit and more importantly to develop the scope and elements of the roadmap.
Where do I find additional information on the programme?
Updated information about the Summit and its programme can be found on our website at http://www.weforum.org/MiddleEast2010.
Preliminary Programme Structure
Monday 25 October
09.00 – 10.15 Opening Plenary
10.15 – 10.30 Coffee Break
10.30 – 12.30 Breakout Sessions
12.45 – 14.15 Working Lunch
14.30 – 15.15 Plenary
15.15 – 15.30 Coffee Break
15.30 – 17.30 Breakout Sessions
18.00 – 19.00 Closing Plenary
19.45 – 21.30 Closing Dinner