School in Kibera to play key role in online education conference


School in Kibera to play key role in online education conference
Marceline, one of the ballerinas from Project Elimu school in Kibera, Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Project Elimu School in Kibera, Nairobi is to play a vital role in what is billed as the ‘world’s biggest education conference’.

The school, noted for its programmes to enhance employability, entrepreneurship and life skills, is to be part of a showcase of 100 schools which will gather online to share expertise and best practices in the inaugural World Education Week, from 5-9th October, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Quality Education (SDG 4)

The hundred schools have been hand-picked for their expertise across a range of educational themes, such as enhancing employability and life-skills; deepening family and community engagement; the use of technology; a focus on wellbeing; and promoting the science of learning and teaching.

Each will share their wisdom to an online audience expected to reach 100,000 worldwide.

The ambition driving World Education Week is to accelerate progress to achieve UN SDG 4, a commitment designed to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

Centred on the theme of ‘Learning Today’, each school will host a virtual event to demonstrate how to bring change, based on their own experiences.

Project Elimu school will be discussing its success in providing arts access education, including the Kibra ballerinas, and activities such as ballet dancing, creative writing, painting, entrepreneurship, digital literacy and sexual and reproductive health.

School founder and executive director, Mike Wamaya said:

“The pupils and teachers of Project Elimu School are thrilled to be selected to host a showcase event during World Education Week, which will allow schools all over the world to learn and innovate together, improving education from the grass-roots up. With our focus on arts education we are proud to be a founding showcase school of such an ambitious project, and are looking forward to our event.”

The ground-breaking event is led by Vikas Pota, a globally-respected leader and driving force in the education, international development, philanthropy and technology sectors. In launching the event, Mr Pota said:

“I congratulate Project Elimu for being selected to take part in our Global Showcase for World Education Week. By sharing the ways in which this school has developed its particular expertise, we hope others will feel inspired to undertake the same journey to excellence.”

“I am incredibly inspired by the schools that applied to take part in this year’s World Education Week. Their commitment to improving the life chances of their learners by nurturing expertise and wanting to share their experience with others, especially in these challenging times, says a lot about the education community. They are our heroes and World Education Week provides us all an opportunity not just to learn from them, but to celebrate their successes, too.”

The conference has won the backing of Andreas Schleicher, the Director for Education at the OECD, who said:

“What’s exciting about World Education Week is the idea of schools around the world sharing their expertise with their peers. After a turbulent period in global education, this is a great way of building back better.”

The project was also welcomed by David Edwards, the General Secretary of Education International, the global federation of teacher unions:

“Teachers have amazed the world by taking the lead in this time of crisis. World Education Week is a global showcase of schools adapting to unprecedented challenges and striving for excellence illustrates that continuing determination against the odds to serve our students. Next comes the hard part – making sure that governments and educators and communities take safe and innovative practices across the world as examples, to build back better a public sector guaranteeing a quality education for every student.”

World Education Week is an effort by thirty civil society organisations coming together after the record breaking T4 conference on 30th May that was attended by over 100,000 teachers.

The event will be hosted from the World Education Week website, with registration opening from September 1st.

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