On September 17, 2023, the “Educate a Child” lecture series was inaugurated with a session focused on foundational learning in the 21st century, redefining education in the age of a climate crisis, and how we can provide quality education in inclusive ways. This event organised by Mission 4.7, the Education Above All Foundation and the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, was held alongside the SDG Summit and UN General Assembly in New York. The lecture series is designed to build upon the global dialogue and momentum created by the UN Transforming Education Summit in September 2022, and will be a space to explore the foundational, ethical, theoretical, and philosophical underpinnings of what Transformative Education entails to set the agenda for Transformative Education leading up to COP 28.
Hugh McLean, Senior Advisor at NORRAG, shared some opening remarks on rethinking “foundational learning” based on the forthcoming NORRAG Special Issue 09. He was joined by Radhika Iyengar, Mission 4.7 Secretariat Chair and Director of Education at the Columbia University Center for Sustainable Development; Fahad Hamad Hassan Al- Sulaiti, CEO of the Education Above All Foundation; Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and Mission 4.7 Patron.
This was followed by a panel discussion featuring by the Hon. Claudiana Cole, Minister of Basic & Secondary Education of The Gambia; the Hon. João Costa, Minister of Education of Portugal; the Hon. Vince Henderson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Dominica; the Hon. Jose Mauricio Pineda Rodriguez, Minister of Education of El Salvador; and the Hon. Conrad Omalikeh Sackey, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education of Sierra Leone and moderated by Leslee Udwin, Founder of Think Equal.
A second panel, moderated by UNICEF’s Robert Jenkins, presented practitioner perspectives from Giovanni Bassu, Deputy Director of UNHCR New York; Harry Patrinos, Senior Adviser, Education, at The World Bank; Jo Bourne, Chief Technical Officer at the Global Partnership for Education; Rajeev Rajam, Founder & CEO of Globe From Home; and Urmila Sarkar Deputy Director of Programmes at Generation Unlimited.
Jeffrey Sachs, Mission 4.7 Co-chair and President of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, closed the formal panels.