Graça Machel: Innovative Education Leadership for Creative System Change

Access and Inclusion January 26, 2015

Graça Machel is a UN Millennium Development Goals’ Advocate, Founder of the Graça Machel Trust and has been first Lady of both South Africa and, previously, Mozambique. When asked in this interview how creativity can serve education, her first thought is for the 58 million who are still out of school despite the MDGs. We need creativity to reach them, especially in far-flung rural areas. 

She says that there are different keys to transforming education, but “teachers are the backbone of any system”. Improved teacher training, equipment and incentives are therefore much needed. Also, education must be relevant for the world in which children are going to work, so business should be closely involved in the educational debate.

How can we encourage leaders to address these challenges? Graça Machel believes that most leaders are well-intentioned but stuck with the old model of education and need to be persuaded by forward-looking thinkers to accept that innovation and creativity are absolutely vital for today’s world.