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Education World Forum 2014

LONDON, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

The Education World Forum, held in London from 19-22 January 2014, is the largest annual gathering of international education ministers.  Supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Education, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for International Development and the British Council, it built on ten previous annual Moving Young Minds and Learning and Technology World Forum events.  

Over 90 countries were represented by ministers in attendance and the Forum brought together more than 500 delegates to address the event's themes, key issues and to share the education system challenges they face, the solutions they have found, their learning and the successes they have achieved.  

Education Ministers were joined by Deputy Prime Ministers and by leaders from global and international organisations including the World Bank, the OECD and UNESCO, as well as by senior representatives of international corporations with focus and commitment to education and its support.  These corporations included HP, Intel, JPSaCouto, Microsoft, Pearson and Promethean.  In addition Airwatch, Britannica, Cambridge International Examinations, Cambridge English, Cambridge University Press, Lego Education, Macat and Oxford University Press also supported the event.

The pre-event programme included the launch of the partnership "New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning", Education Fast Forward's global debate "To school or not to school" and presentations explaining England's policies for schools, technical and vocational education and universities.

The start of the main programme was heralded by the world premiere of "Give Me Wings" a specially commissioned anthem for the Education World Forum composed by Dr John Rutter CBE and performed by the Children's International Voices of Enfield Choir.  Throughout the forum, a piece of artwork depicting map of the world, allowed Ministers to interact and indicate priorities for their own countries from the forum's themes.  Also during the forum a second short film in the series, a Global Education Conversation captured personal views from Ministers and other participants about education's needs and trajectories.  The film resulting edited film was shown first on 22 January, and both film and presentations are now available on the Education World Forum website,

Education World Forum 2014 Forum Programme

The programme comprised keynote addresses, Ministerial keynotes, Ministerial Exchanges as well as time and opportunities for networking and informal discussions.  These networking opportunities included an official reception, hosted by Rt Hon William Hague MP, First Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and addressed by Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Ministerial and other speakers at the event, listed in order of appearance included:

Vicky Colbert, Founder and Director, Fundación Escuela Nueva, Colombia

Ramji Raghavan, Chairman, Agastya International Foundation, India

Mohammad Nuh, Minister of Education and Culture, Indonesia

Andy Hurdle, Deputy Director of Behaviour, Attendance and Disadvantage Division, Education Standards Group, Department for Education, England

Heather Miller, Deputy Director, Pathways to Higher Skills Unit, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, England

Griff Jones, Senior Strategy Adviser, Higher Education Policy and Strategy Division, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, England

Dominic Savage OBE, Director, Education World Forum

Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, England

Gavin Dykes, Programme Director, Education World Forum

HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands

David Aaronovitch, Chair, Education World Forum 2014

HE Paulo Sacadura, Cabral Portas, Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal

Andreas Schleicher, Special Advisor on Education to the Secretary General, OECD

Dr Maciej Jakubowski, Former Deputy Minister of National Education and Education Expert, Poland

Jim Marshall, CEO Promethean

Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Minister of Education and Skills Development, Botswana

Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Adviser, Pearson

Professor Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Canada

Anthony Salcito, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector Education, Microsoft

Honourable Minister Shri Pallam Raju, Minister of Human Resource Development, India

Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK

Lynn Featherstone MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for International Development, UK

Dr Elizabeth King, Vice President for Human Resource Development and Director of Education, The World Bank

Professor Dmitry Livanov, Federal Minister of Education and Science, Russian Federation

Vineamin Kaganov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Russian Federation

Dr Saleh Al-AMr on behalf of Dr Ali Al Ghafis, Governor, Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Eduardo Briceno on behalf of Eduardo Jaén, Minister of Innovation, Republic of Panama

John Davies, Vice President of the World Ahead Program, Intel

Hon Jessica Rose Epel Alupo, Minister of Education and Sport, Uganda

Freddy Peñafiel, Deputy Minister of Education, Ecuador

David Atchoarena, Director Planning and Development of Education Systems, UNESCO

Gus Schmedlen, VP Global Industry Solutions Group, HP

Karen Cator, CEO Digital Promise

Eddie Hak-Kim Ng, Secretary for Education, Hong Kong

Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, Minister for Education NSW, Australia

Hon J Alan McIsaac, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Mike Trucano, Senior ICT and Education Policy Specialist, The World Bank

Miguel Brechner, President, Plan Centro Ceibal, Uruguay

Mario Franco, Director, Millennium@edu, Portugal

Tomi Davies, CEO at Technovision Communications, Nigeria

Vera Costa Cabral, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Angelina Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, Republic of South Africa

Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan, Minister for Education, Government of the Punjab, Pakistan

Dr Leslie Conery, Partnership Director, Matuto: literacy partnership

Professor Tim Unwin, Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization

Bertil Östberg, State Secretary for Education, National Ministry, Sweden

Dr Anne Looney, Chief Executive, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Ireland

Dr Michele Bruniges, Director General of Education and Communities NSW, Australia

Professor Stefan Dercon, Chief Economist, Department for International Development, UK

Rajay Naik, Director of Government and External Affairs, Open University, UK

Marguerite Khasaka, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Michael Furdyk, co-Founder, Taking IT Global, Canada

Pere Torres Poblador, GSMA, Spain

Alexa Joyce, European Schoolnet,  Belgium

Dr Pilvi Torsti, State Secretary for Education, Finland

Alejandro Caballero, Senior Education Specialist, IFC, the World Bank

Dr Barbara Kurshan, Executive Director of Academic Innovation, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, US

Dr Stephan Vincent-Lancrin, Senior Analyst, OECD

Felicity Gillespie, British Council Advisor, UK

Agnetta Nyalita, Social Entrepreneur, South Africa

Vlad Atanasiu, Founder - the alternative University of Bucharest, Romania

Bill Frakes, Sports Illustrated Photographer and Videographer, US

Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, England

Sir Martin Davidson KCMG, Chief Executive, the British Council

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Malaysia

Dr Aslan Sarinzhipov, Minister of Education and Science, Republic of Kazakhstan

Pauline Rose, Director of Education for All Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO

Luis Silveira Pinto, Director of Education Business Solutions, JPSa Couto

Opening keynote

Michael Gove's opening presentation reflected on the high standards demonstrated by the children in the choir singing the Education World Forum anthem saying that their performance should challenge the adults to do the same.  He talked of celebrating London's diversity, the positive forces that global competition and collaboration can bring, and the importance of providing a good start in life to every child.  

Princess Laurentien built on Michael Gove's words, questioning whether we are doing enough when more than 300m children do not have the reading and writing skills they need to get ahead in life, and with 780m adults still illiterate.  Her Royal Highness then questioned whether we do enough to listen to the views of children as we develop policy.  Too often we focus on the supply side of what we say they need, rather than listening to their wishes, and addressing the demand side.  Princess Laurentien explained how in the literacy project Matituto, strategies are being applied to ensure that both supply and demand are addressed and used to increase chances of success.

It is perhaps worth reflecting that one of the purposes of Education Fast Forward debates, such as "To school or not to school" is to remove barriers between education policy makers, teachers and students, so that better crafted debates, understanding and policy can result.

HE Paulo Sacadura Cabral Portas linked education, foreign policy and economic development, citing Example as a collaborative way forward.  Andreas Schleicher built on those links in his presentation "better skills, better lives and better jobs". Jim Marshall reinforced these links and Maciej Jakubowski explained Poland's strategies that led to PISA success.

In subsequent sessions, there was discussion of the challenges for driving improvement in learning and in education.  The case was ably made for the need to act now and to take advantage of the new opportunities that technology offers.  A significant development in this area, could be said to be the degree to which technology could act in support of learning and education aims.   The potential for countries with few resources, and those with many were explored and addressed through questions from participants and discussion by panels.  Challenges associated with addressing youth employment were addressed, and the importance of increasing education's impact and reach was explored from different national and multinational viewpoints.

Aside from the plenary sessions, and the private conversations that happened in the large and busy networking area of Central Hall, Ministerial Exchanges allowed discussion of particular issues in greater detail and in smaller groups.  

These Ministerial Exchanges included the following discussions:

  • Learning and technology developments in cities, states and provinces
  • 1:1 learning projects
  • Reading, writing, numerical and digital literacy
  • Assessment
  • STEM and technology
  • Stimulating Innovating and Enterprise in Education

The final plenary panel session brought speakers together to reflect on what needed to happen in education in the coming decade.  Speakers looked at this area from national viewpoints, from a commercial perspective and from the perspective drawn from UNESCO's work on the Education for All Global Monitoring report.  Looking globally there is still much that needs to be addressed.  

Perhaps a conclusion from the event as a whole is that, we are much more likely to make progress in addressing the education and learning needs in the world by acting together in partnerships and through collaboration.

The Education World Forum is the largest gathering of education and skills ministers in the world and is the internationally recognised ministerial forum for debating future practice in education. The event is by official invitation only.

For further information, please contact:
Rachel Womack
[email protected]
Sue Murray
[email protected]

SOURCE Education World Forum

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