By Naomi Yakawich
July 23, NEW DELHI—A diverse group of education experts discussed a transformative approach to educational systems at the Forum on Transforming Education hosted at Ahlcon International School over two intensive days.
Dr. Tony Devine, Vice President of Education for Global Peace Foundation, addressed sixty high-achieving students on July 22 for an in-depth session on changes within the education system that could transform their capacity and expand their opportunities to achieve.
Dr. Devine challenged the young audience to ask themselves, “Am I future-ready?” The session discussed how advances in technology and Artificial Intelligence are gradually progressing to the forefront of many academic fields. Scientific inventions, social changes, and technology are creating unbelievable new opportunities every single day. While these technologies and economic developments are creating constructive changes all around us, human leadership, especially moral and innovative leadership advocated by Global Peace Foundation, is the determining factor of how these technologies can maximize positive change around the world.
India is a hub for one of the largest youth populations in the world. Students play a significant role in bringing new ideas into existence for the betterment of their communities, utilizing their time in educational institutions to glean experience and knowledge to counter corruption and provide innovative solutions through their ability and passion to dream big.
The workshop delved into a discussion on leadership styles, the role and value of the education system and the essential skills students need to put humanity first in order to fuel their purpose and passion in whatever career path they choose in the future.
Ron Miller, a speaker at the education forum on July 23, described the need for a paradigm shift saying, “Education today is not a collaborative art of mentoring and nurturing the young, but a frenzied scramble to succeed according to some external measure of success.”
Dr. Amita Mulla Wattal, principal of the local Springdale School, appealed to her fellow educators to do away with the idea that children are “empty cups” adults must fill with information and to focus on the learning experience itself, not simply completing a syllabus.
In agreement, Ms. Priyamvada Taneja, Regional Manager for Fieldwork Education, explained that it was very important for a school to stand for a set of values in its ethos and culture. Ms. Sumita Malik from Shiv Nadar School expressed the need for schools to design sessions on empathy and consciously teach collaboration. She sadly observed that in many schools, educators and students shy away from giving or receiving feedback, which is essential to constructively improve teaching and learning.
Dr. Nirmala Krishnan, General Manager (Education) JSW Foundation, enthralled the audience with her four real-life stories that illustrated ‘integrity’ as the most important employable skill in the 21st century. She insisted that schools and institutions must come together to share their best practices in order to lay the groundwork and motivate others.
Leading an interactive session, Mr. Aaryan Salman, President of the Global Citizenship Foundation, brought out key gaps in the curriculum and classroom transactions, asking questions and demonstrating a plan for implementing SDGs in the curriculum.
Other esteemed speakers included Prof. (Dr.) Arvind Kumar from the Institute of Robotic Surgery Sir Ganga Ram Hospital; Dr. Markandey Rai, Senior Advisor to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat); Dr. Arunabh Singh, Director at Nehru World School; and Vipul S. Redey, Head of School Enablement at Khan Academy.
Concluding the forum, Mr. Ashok Pandey, Principal at the forum’s host school, Ahlcon International School, reminded educators that schools are more than just a place for intellectual development. “It is a place where students learn to become responsible citizens and participate in community development.”
Learn more about Global Peace Foundation initiatives to transform education and find out how you can get involved in peacebuilding through education.