How can we effectively tackle global challenges in education to ensure that quality, inclusive and equitable education is available to all?
The face of education today has meaningfully changed since the 19th century thanks to concerted global efforts and reforms. The number of children attending primary school has gone up exponentially, covering almost 90 percent of the world’s school-age children today. However, enrollment is no longer the chief challenge in education, and many more issues such as attainment, quality, inclusivity, the gender gap component, crises, etc. remain prevalent in education systems worldwide. While the vast majority of countries around the world have official and organized schooling systems, gaps remain in both the access to, and quality of, education within countries and between high-income and low-income states. These gaps have created a multitude of challenges for inclusive and equitable global education beyond just access, further exacerbated by the school closures and education disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, around 222 million children across the world are in need of educational support due to crises, while a staggering 616 million students still continue to suffer from the aftermath of prolonged school closures.
Our challenge expert: Rie Kijima
Rie Kijima is an assistant professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto. Her research addresses topics such as international assessments, education reforms, gender and STEAM learning. She has previously worked at the World Bank as an education consultant specializing in monitoring and evaluation and traveled frequently to Morocco, Tunisia, Vietnam, and Laos. In 2016, she co-founded SKY Labo, an education non-profit organization to promote inquiry-based approaches to STEAM learning. She co-authored a book on Design Thinking and STEAM Education which was published by Asahi Shinbun Press in January 2019. She was featured as one of 100 women entrepreneurs around the world by Forbes Japan in March 2019.