With the countdown to the 2015 milestones for MDGs and EFA, global conversations are intensifying for a consensus on education challenges with respect to ‘quality’ exacerbating inequality and transition gaps at all levels of the education spectrum from early childhood to tertiary education (Salzburg seminars 2010, 2011 and 2012; Brookings Institute 2011). The ever widening relevance gap for ‘a world we cannot imagine’, inhabited by 7 billion people calls into question the compulsion of perennial renewal of ‘learning’ in a global context and accessible technologies in the classrooms as well as the centrality of the teacher as the universal provocateur and innovator which cannot be minimized. What does this mean for countries marked by diversity in challenges and resources to define what is doable?
Large scale annual citizen led assessments in South Asia such as the Annual
Status of Education Reports (ASER) by ASER Centre India and SAFED/ITA in
Pakistan continue to indicate disparities in learning, equity and access
denying millions of children their fundamental right to education. (http://www.asercentre.org/www.aserpakistan.org)
Following the seminar in Salzburg there was a consensus to continue the interrogations at global, regional and local levels. The first in the series is proposed to be held in Pakistan (Lahore) as host to the South Asian and South East Asian region.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE REGIONAL SEMINAR TO BE HOSTED IN LAHORE, PAKISTAN ARE:
To contextualize the challenges of curriculum/learning relevance and inequality (early years to secondary education) reflected in learning outcomes and assessment studies.
To explore good practices and policies for bridging the inequality gaps through contemporary approaches of ‘what works’
To build communities of practice for research, sharing resources and ideas for transformative models of learning
To explore innovative financing options for addressing the quality-inequality gaps