Powering Potential meets with UN, others to discuss inclusive quality education for all

Those attending were given recommendations on how to generate global commitment towards quality education without exclusions, which will ensure lifelong learning for everyone.

Janice Lathen, the founding director of Powering Potential Inc. (PPI), was invited to attend a high-level side-event during the review of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) at the high-level political forum 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York on “Relevant, Equitable and Inclusive Quality Education for All: an imperative for the 21st Century” on July 15, 2019 in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.

The hour-and-a-half-long panel discussion was hosted by UNESCO, the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee, and the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning.

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which is responsible for cultivating peace via international collaboration in the fields of education, the sciences and culture. Their programs play a critical role in the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.

The SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee has the responsibility for the coordination and follow-up of SDG4 and other aspects of the global agenda. It also serves to increase support among global countries and their partners to make set goals a reality.

inside the UN at a panel discussion The 90-minute panel discussion centered on how education can transform lives within the scope of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (Photo: Powering Potential)

Lastly, the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning was recently established in January 2019 to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. It is chaired by the Permanent Missions of Argentina, the Czech Republic, Japan, Kenya, and Norway to the United Nations with each focusing on outreach to make education a priority to decision-making bodies like the UN General Assembly, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and other UN forums.

The 90-minute panel discussion centered on how education can transform lives within the scope of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Those attending were given recommendations on how to generate global commitment towards quality education without exclusions, which will ensure lifelong learning for everyone.

Opening remarks were given by Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, who has also served the European Commission on culture and communication issues.

Ministers from the aforementioned member states also made statements. The panel discussion included government, private sector, civil society, and youth representatives. Among them was Maggie MacDonnell, the 2017 Global Teacher Prize Winner. She engaged those present with a heartwarming story of turning harsh life lessons into educational experiences from which students can grow.

Additional discussions covered the interlinkages between global communities, equity, and inclusion among populations, and how to provide vital skills for life and work. Afterwards, Ms. Lathen had the opportunity to speak with the Director-General of UNESCO. Ms. Azoulay suggested contacting her office for possible funding opportunities.

“I am always inspired to attend events at the United Nations,” Ms. Lathen said. “I was especially grateful for the opportunity to meet the Director-General and introduce Powering Potential to her. We hope for an opportunity to collaborate with UNESCO in the future.”

PPI would like to thank UNESCO, the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee, and the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning for this incredible opportunity.

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Our mission is to use technology to enhance education and stimulate imaginations of students in underdeveloped countries while respecting and incorporating values of the local culture — especially cooperation over competition, community over the individual, modesty over pride, and spirituality over materiality.

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