The closing plenary session of the first World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE has produced a number of ground-breaking outcomes that signal the beginning of a new era in global collaboration on education. WISE concluded with a declaration of 10 core education priorities, an announcement of two initiatives and a renewed commitment to the three main areas of focus for WISE in the future.
Held in Doha, Qatar and attended by 1,000 influential opinion leaders from diverse sectors across the globe, the Summit, through its theme of "Global Education: Working Together for Sustainable Achievements" has created a new dynamism towards addressing the most challenging educational issues in the 21st century.
Highlighting the importance of reaching agreement on key educational priorities on a global scale, Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Chairman of WISE and Qatar Foundation's Vice-President of Education, said that achieving such a consensus among the international community in an inaugural summit was a clear indication of the commitment and focus among delegates.
Dr. Abdulla explained: "This Summit represents the beginning of a long-term process of innovation. The approach of WISE to date has been comprehensive and wide-ranging, however action springs from a focussed approach. Throughout the series of plenary and breakout sessions, we have been listening very closely to the contributions and the key concerns of the participants with a firm commitment to move from debate to concrete outcomes. The identification of 10 strategic priorities is a milestone as it represents a convergence among global educational leaders on the key issues that will affect and shape education in the 21st century."
The 10 strategic priorities declared at the Summit were:
1. Access to 'quality' education2. A fully integrated approach3. Global citizenship4. Education embedded in the local community5. Protecting education and educators6. Reconciliation7. 'WISE pioneers' to monitor progress8. Innovating new ways to learn9. Pursuing sustainable development10. A future built on multi-stakeholder partnership
The identification of 10 priorities constitutes a crucial preliminary step in a process that leads to research of innovative and relevant solutions, adaptation and implementation of international best practice on a sustainable basis.
In addition, two initiatives were announced that exemplify the declaration of priorities: (i) a partnership between the Al-Shafallah Centre for Children with Special Needs and the University of Southern California to develop innovative, international practices and tools for children with special needs, in particular those with autism; and (ii) the creation of 'The Institute for Education Leadership' to offer a number of dedicated training seminars around the world to newly-appointed educational leaders at all levels.
These newly-formed partnerships complement the WISE Awards in terms of devising fresh, targeted enterprises that address some of the most pressing educational challenges faced in the 21st century.
Based on the 10 priorities which were defined during the three days, WISE also refined how it will contribute to drive educational changes in the future.
- WISE will be an agenda-setting forum which will define areasrequiring actions across all sectors of education and will seek involvement of appropriate partners.- WISE will promote innovative practices, methodologies andpartnerships, making best use of modern technology.- WISE will seek to build on the momentum of the inauguralsummit to inform public opinion and put education as a priority on thepolitical, social and economic agenda.
Confirmed as an annual event, WISE, in advance of the 2010 Summit, will seek with confidence and determination to create and sustain a pragmatic and powerful international community that will help to shape the future of global education.