There is an urgent need to redefine the future of education - experts advise
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Education experts and business leaders explored the theme of Redefining the future of education at the 7th annual Future of Education Summit held by CNBC Africa in partnership with Forbes Africa.
Rakesh Wahi, founder of the Future of Education Summit and co-founder of the ABN Group, said there was an urgent need to redefine the purpose of education so that there is a shift from historic and outdated practices. Instead, the future needs to be in line with current opportunities and challenges being faced by the industry in general, and the youth, in particular.
The summit zoomed in on micro topics such as building capacity and prioritising education in business planning to bring the sector into the 21st century. Education experts mulled over how redefining education would inform areas in the education system, such as leadership, curriculum development, skills and capacity building, psychological impact, technology and teaching methodology, wider-ranging credentials and financing.
Dr Catherine Duggan, director (Dean) of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB) said: “The gap between the ‘haves and the have nots’ among learners needs to shrink drastically, and the playing field needs to be levelled in this new age. We need to have an understanding of the local context, and how it can be incorporated into the education sector, to bring in lessons and learning from our local communities, and not exclusively from the West.”
She recommended a more holistic approach which should be supported by both the private and public sectors.
William Mzimba, CEO for Vodacom Business explained: “Every part of the education ecosystem will need support through their digital transformation journey, with the goal of ensuring education remains inclusive as a basic human right.
“The e-School digital education platform has supported more than 1.25 million South African learners, while over 260 000 students in the DRC and Tanzania benefited from the free access to online learning materials that we enabled. One of the goals Vodacom has set, is to connect an additional six million people to digital education opportunities by 2025.”.