A to-do list from youth for world leaders: Transform Education

This International Youth Day, we asked GPE Youth Leaders to write a to-do list for decision makers on how to transform education. These are their 10 priorities.

August 12, 2022 by GPE Secretariat
4 minutes read
GPE Youth leaders

Youth have important knowledge of today’s issues and challenges. Therefore, they have a unique perspective on transforming education systems that allow all children to learn and build a more sustainable and equitable future.

This International Youth Day, we asked 10 GPE Youth Leaders to write a to-do list for decision makers on what needs to be done to spark lasting change in education.

Youth have a unique perspective on transforming education so all children can learn to build a more sustainable and equitable future.

What are the urgent priorities?

1. Ensure free education for all children

Iyunoluwa (Nigeria)
“The first action on my to-do list for world leaders is to ensure that every child attends up to secondary school level, for free. Every child should be equipped with skills that would be useful for advancing in the labor market, among people of different cultural backgrounds, and the world.”
Iyunoluwa (Nigeria)

2. Invest in girls’ education

Sikemi (UK/Nigeria)
“I need world leaders to know that girls must not be left behind as the world moves. Investment in girls’ education is one of the most important and major keys for success. We need to ensure that girls and their education are prioritized. An investment in girls’ education would be an investment into health, climate change, economic systems and so much more – it’s the right thing to do. It will protect and secure the future of the most vulnerable and create structures that protect them, which in turn becomes a system that protects all.”
Sikemi (UK/Nigeria)

3. Give the youngest children a chance

Cynthia (Kenya)
“Give early childhood education the attention it deserves. This serves as the cornerstone of education because it develops children's independence while also fostering their mental and social growth. Children who have experienced conflict also need to go through this stage of learning as they frequently live in displacement for most their school years. Early childhood education must therefore be used to help these children's healing via play and provide them with fundamental literacy and numeracy skills.”
Cynthia (Kenya)

4. Protect education from climate change

Maryam and Nivaal (Canada/Pakistan)
“Transform education systems to be adaptable to climate change and incorporate comprehensive climate education. Places like our village in Pakistan are already susceptible to the negative impact of climate change, which leads girls to stop going to school during unprecedented heatwaves or floods. Education systems that adapt to climate change by offering effective distance-learning options and incorporating climate education in their curriculums can be helpful in our global fight against climate change and ensuring more children go to school.”
Maryam and Nivaal (Canada/Pakistan)

5. Ensure more teachers for more learning

Clement (Zambia)
“Ensure the pupil-teacher ratio is reduced by constructing more schools and employing more teachers. Children cannot learn properly if classrooms are overcrowded with a single teacher handling a huge class as these compromises the quality of education received.”
Clement (Zambia)

What approaches to transforming education need to change?

6. Put students at the center

Armel (Comoros)
“Teachers play a tremendous role in transforming education, if we are transforming education, we should first train teachers to change their methodology of teaching from teacher-centered approaches to a student-centered approach because the world we live in now needs a collaborative learning strategy and a lot of practical sessions. Teachers should also be trained effectively on digital learning. If a teacher is not well equipped, all our effort and investments will go unnoticed.”
Armel (Comoros)

7. Integrate the SDGs into curriculums

Phuong Anh (Vietnam)
“We should Integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) into the current curriculum to make sure education is relevant and helps us attain a sustainable world. When youth are informed about the global problems we face, we can lead the changes necessary for our future. Schools should be the places that prepare youth for building our own futures.”
Phuong Anh (Vietnam)

What are the key shifts world leaders need to consider?

8. Make data- and child-informed decisions

Tomoe (Japan)
“Children's opinions should be heard in a safe environment, their views should be fully reflected, and effective decisions should be made based on data. I believe that it is important to have educational policies that ensure that all children receive quality education based on reliable data. I also think that the voices of people who are directly linked to children’s education, such as parents and teachers should also be reflected in policies.”
Tomoe (Japan)

9. Foster constant learning and improvement

Asimawu (Ghana)
“Create a system where failure is part of the learning curve. Constant growth with successful outcomes are a result of a well-designed and equitable learning environment. Transforming education offers an opportunity for continuous improvement through holistic, learner-centered models that produce a mastery of knowledge and skills. Such an environment will foster well-being, respect for our youth and dignity, leading to a prosperous, open and just society.”
Asimawu (Ghana)

10. Governments must fund Education

Ken (Philippines)
“Ensure that the sector is well-financed, and that the budget is utilized according to the needs of the students and teachers. The curriculum cannot be effectively delivered without proper training of teachers. A good curriculum is useless if children cannot afford to go to school, and education cannot be achieved without good and sufficient classrooms and materials — but all of these cannot be achieved without financing, or if the education budget fund is utilized for something else.”
Ken (Philippines)

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Very educative

Thank you so much for this do list . In Burundi , We are working tirelessly to reach underserved kids to get quality education through Burundi Book Culture Outreach-BBCO.

Great to see Youth Leaders involved in influencing the policy and decision makers. Our Adolescent Mothers Education Initiative in DRC, Uganda and Zimbabwe aims to raise awareness of the rights of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers to a continuing education

I live in Italy, but I came from Rwanda. I am a niece. I thank you for what you are do, yes all children need education. I wish I can cumulate with you for future collaboration. I think that all the people in this world should act as you do.🙏🏾

I want to partner an respresent with my organization for GPE

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