The Education Partners’ panel discussion on "Expanding Access, Transforming Learning" focused on initiatives around the world that efficiently and effectively expand access to education and increase student outcomes. Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education, Geoffrey Canada, Founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone and Chair of The Education Partners Global Advisory Council and Justine Cassell, Associate Dean, Technology Strategy and Impact, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University explored what works in international education and analyzed programs around the world.
Around the globe, we have realized tremendous gains in expanding access to education: the number of children and adolescents out of school decreased by 37%, from 196M students in 2000 to 124M students in 2013. Yet 10% of global spending on primary education is lost on poor quality education. It is time to raise the bar once more. It is time to create high-quality learning environments and elevate practice as well as access. It is time to ensure that children not only have the right to be in school but also learn while there.
Every child deserves the opportunity to attend school, but it is not just a matter of placing students in classrooms. How can countries expand equitable access to education and workforce development programs while simultaneously improving quality?
The Education Partners' panel discussion was one of the most well-attended sessions, and the insights shared during the panel discussion helped education ministers, school leaders and teachers from around the world understand the most pressing issues in expanding both access and quality in education. As governments aspire to expand access, the quality of education can face persistent issues. Budgetary constraints have highlighted the importance of maximizing the return of public funds, despite limited resources. To meet the economic and social challenges of the citizenry today, governments must transform the way they think, organize and execute. Ultimately, expansion of access to education can be accomplished when political will is strong, partnerships are effective and funding is sufficient.
Cover Photo: (Left to right) Justine Cassell, Geoffrey Canada, Denise Gallucci, Arne Duncan, Andreas Scleicher