Sonny Leong, Chair of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth, makes a plea for the world education system to remodel itself into a network that embraces an open attitude to the future and prepares our young people for the opportunities of continuing change.
Over the last few years we have seen the rapid emergence of dangerous populists, who have risen on the fuel of anti-internationalism, anti-immigrant and closed border nationalist rhetoric.
The idea that we are all interconnected is under attack, even when it is more of a reality than ever before, in what Anne-Marie Slaughter calls ‘the networked world’. This rhetoric presents a grave challenge to the international community, as much as it threatens the internal integrity and solidarity of our national societies.
How technology has shifted the way education is needed, and the future role and value of education, are both fundamental roots of these societal, global challenges and the potential solutions. Yet in an age where it is so easy to be overwhelmed by what we are given to absorb every single day – new technologies, new ideas, new languages, new cultures, new people and massive transformations which jar and change what we know – it can be simpler just to block it out. This fear of rapid change can express itself through democracy, as it has to some extent in some countries where nationalism is rearing its ugly head. It also, more dangerously, expresses itself in conflict – be it state or non-state led…
Chair of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth