Welcome to the ed.review

Editor's note
Through the ed.review, WISE aims to bring to you our growing community, the latest news, trends and informed opinion on education from around the world, with a particular emphasis on innovation. We believe that now is the right time to launch this new service and hope that many of you will become contributors and share with us your thoughts and ideas. As noted by our founder and patron, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, during her welcome address at the 2013 Summit, “WISE is now a movement that is sustainably embedding innovation in education.”
 
It would be an exaggeration to say that we are facing a global crisis in education, but only just. With less than a year to go before the 2015 deadline for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education, there are still some 60 million children around the world who do not have access to primary education. And even when children do eventually get to school, far too many of them –an estimated 250 million- are leaving without basic literacy and numeracy skills. In some extreme cases, as we recently witnessed in Nigeria, children and in particular girls, are far too often forcibly prevented from gaining an education.     
 
Across the developed world, education has long been seen as a major driver of social mobility. Yet, as documented recently in The New York Times by the author and commentator Paul Tough, education is no longer the great social equalizer that it once was. In the United States, a young person’s socio-economic background disproportionately influences their chances of successfully graduating from college even when other factors such as standardized test scores are equal. And across the European Union, despite record levels of enrollment in tertiary education, youth unemployment has never been higher.
   
There is however also much to be hopeful about. Although the 2015 MDG deadline is nearly upon us, organizations such as the Education Above All Foundation and its Educate A Child program, launched by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in 2012, are mobilizing governments, civil society and the private sector to ensure that the promise of universal primary education is not forgotten and that the struggle to fulfill it will continue for as long as necessary. In addition, every year since 2009, through the WISE Awards we discover hundreds of innovative projects from around the world that are providing local solutions to local challenges and have the potential for global impact through sharing improved practices. Moreover, individuals such as our three WISE Prize for Education Laureates – Sir Fazle Hasan AbedDr Madhav Chavan and Ms Vicky Colbert- provide living testimony of the tremendous impact that small but determined groups of education innovators can have.     
 
So there is a great deal for us to reflect on and discuss as a global community. As noted by the Chairman of WISE, H.E. Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, “When you take a look at what is going on in the world today it is clear that the need for innovation in education has never been so urgent. This means we need to think bigger and show more determination in our quest to bring innovation to the field of education. We also need to ensure that best practices in education are shared and adapted to different regions and cultures in the most effective ways.”
 
The ed.review promises to provide some fuel to enable us to think bigger and take more determined action in education. We hope you enjoy it and find it useful.     

Stavros N. Yiannouka is the CEO of the World Innovation Summit of Education (WISE).
Themes
Education Policy and Reform, Innovation in Education

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