UNICEF UK and Pearson Organisations is set to collaborate on how innovation can help the world’s most marginalised children.
The two organisations will be holding a series of high level events over the next year which will bring together experts, thought-leaders and innovators from a range of industries and countries across the world. The ‘Activate Talks’ will examine how new technologies, products and businesses can help tackle the major issues confronting the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised children, especially in Africa.
It is evident that despite significant increases in the country’s enrollment rates, 40 percent of children aged six to 11 do not attend any primary school. An estimated 4.7 million Nigerian primary school aged children are not enrolled in school, and for those who are enrolled, learning attainment rates are low.
Muhtar Bakare, managing director, Pearson Nigeria says the Activate talks will draw attention to the plight of children who are missing out on the opportunity to progress their life through education and that new technologies and innovations give us an unprecedented opportunity to bring quality learning solutions to the world’s most vulnerable children.
The right focus will enable remote communities in Nigeria and across Africa to be important beneficiaries. By convening development professionals, innovators and businesses at the Activate Talks, Unicef UK and Pearson hope to broker a conversation that builds partnerships and develops solutions that contribute to the goal of giving the world’s most marginalised children the education that is their right.
The first in this series of Activate Talks took place in London on the 25 June on the topic of Future Learning and was moderated by BBC Click presenter, Spencer Kelly. It focused on the challenge of addressing the learning needs of the world’s young people, an estimated 250 million of which are unable to read and write. Speakers at the event included:
Juan Pablo Giraldo Ospino, Innovation Specialist at UNICEF Education; Tom Hall, Vice President Technology Delivery, Growth Markets at Pearson; Mike Muller, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer at ARM Holdings; Aiman Badri, National Programme Officer for UNESCO in Sudan; Kate Radford, Innovation Programmes Manager at War Child Holland; Alison Naftalin, Founder & CEO at Lively Minds; Juan Santander, Chief of Social Policy, Planning, M&E at UNICEF Lebanon; Zoe Peden, Co-Founder & Chief Juggler at Insane Logic and Vu Bui, Chief Operating Officer of Mojang.
Katherine Crisp, UNICEF UK’s Head of Strategy and Innovation, stated that “10 years ago, no-one in development imagined they would be using mobile phones to gather real-time information. Today UNICEF uses them to report every birth in Nigeria, track educational supplies in Uganda and engage with over 800,000 young people globally via U-Report. However, this is just the start. Through our series of Activate Talks we want to foster dialogue, explore challenges, share different approaches and spark collaborations with new people. Together we want to build a better future for children.”
Amanda Gardiner, Pearson’s Vice President of Sustainability and Social Innovation also added that globally, 58 million children are out of school and 250 million leave without basic skills.
According to her, “these vulnerable children need our help to receive the education they so rightfully deserve to make progress in their lives. We are delighted to be working with UNICEF UK on this Activate Talks series. We want to spark innovative solutions to help tackle the challenges that affect the most marginalised children around the world.”