Global Education & Skills Forum Day 1 Highlights

12 Mar 2016 |

“Teachers build a bridge from the future to the present - we must treasure them.”-Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation

The Global Education & Skills Forum begins this morning at 8:45am with an opening address from Vikas Pota, CEO of the Varkey Foundation. Our Top 10 Finalists have a busy two days ahead of the ceremony Sunday evening. Tomorrow, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for live updates and an up close and personal look.

Opening Plenary: The state of our world The Global Education and Skills Forum started with a welcome from Vikas Pota, CEO of the Varkey Foundation. Fareed Zakaria, CNN GPS host and Washington Post columnist shared an opening address on the state of our world. Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills, OECD, spoke about rethinking collective responsibility for public education and why we are here together today. Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation ended the Opening Plenary with his Founders thoughts.

Panel: How do we address the challenge of refugee children? This is a subject close to Top 10 Finalist Aqeela Asifi's heart. Today we heard an incredible story about how one of Aqeela's students helped her uncle grow his farming business in Pakistan thanks to Aqeela's teaching.

EdTalk: The Magic of Numbers Top 50 Finalist Dhaval Bathia delivered an EdTalk all around the Magic of Numbers. He had a captive and engaged audience. Maths is amazing!

Top 10 Finalist Masterclass: A lesson from a Palestinian primary school Top 10 Finalist, Hanan Al Hroub, delivered her masterclass to a full classroom. She came in dressed as a clown with her puppet sidekick. She said having consistent characters in the classroom helps the students to feel more comfortable and familiar. It provides stability for them. She also offered tips and advice to other teachers, "put more fun in your lessons and create corners in your classes." There were several Top 50 Finalists in the lesson as well as a few Top 10 Finalists. Mike Soskil, had fun playing and learning! 

Top 10 Finalist Masterclass: A maths lesson from Helsinki, Finland Maarit Rossi, Top 10 Finalist, began her masterclass by having her students visit a webpage where the lesson was waiting. It was an interactive lesson where she encouraged everyone to work in groups and believes that working in teams is the best way to learn. She said, "to learn quicker you have to be comfortable with maths!" 

Top 10 Finalist Masterclass: A lesson in anti-radicalisation from Kenya  A teacher to teacher pep talk before Ayub's masterclass Top 10 Finalist, Ayub Mohmamud's lesson was a powerful one where he discussed the need for schools, teachers, parents, and the community to join together to change mindsets about radicalisation. There was a passionate discussion held by the class about the importance of this subject globally.

Top 10 Finalist Masterclass: A lesson in new media from Illinois

“I flew 7,000 miles to teach, because that is what I love to do.”-Joe Fatheree, Global Teacher Prize Top 10 Finalist

Joe Fatheree, Top 10 Finalist, held his masterclass this afternoon. He found that traditional teaching methods didn't work with his students. In his lesson he brought the methods that do work for his students. On our desks were balloons and pens. The balloons were idea incubators and the pens enabled us to write a rough sketch of our business ideas and dreams. Joe said, "We use media in my classroom. That media is anything that harnesses the power of my student's voices."

Top 10 Finalist Masterclass: A lesson from the streets of Mumbai, India Robin Chaurasiya, Top 10 Finalist, began her masterclass a bit differently than the other teachers. She had us close our eyes and imagine we were 13 year old girls, we never had gotten the chance to be educated and we were being married off. She continued the scenario by asking us if we would choose domestic work or sex work? She brought to life the scenario that her students live in. Robin said, "at Kranti we empower the girls to be agents of social change." She carried on to share with us their model of learning at Kranti. They aren't a traditional school, but the outcome is still the same. Robin inspire's her girls to be successful in life.

Top 10 Finalist Masterclass: Meet the Top 10 Finalists of the Global Teacher Prize Our day ended with a lovely meet the Top 10 Finalists. It was great to hear them talk about their jobs, their students and their passions. It was then open to questions where we got to know our Top 10 Teachers even better. They are truly an amazing group of people. The session ended with a media frenzy.  That's a wrap on day on of the Global Education & Skills Forum. We will be back tomorrow with a new blog for day 2!