TED gets bold on education

by Joy Portella

 

All of Minerva Strategies’ clients do great work to improve people’s lives, but once in a while, one of them has a brilliant idea about how to change an entire system – potentially improving millions of lives. That’s really exciting.

 

Amel Karboul’s recent TED Talk details one such brilliant idea. Dr. Karboul is a member of the Education Commission, a group of leaders from across the world working to expand access to quality education for all children, and one of Minerva’s clients. She is also CEO of the Education Impact Investment Initiative, and the former Tourism Minister of Tunisia. Dr. Karboul is one smart, accomplished lady.

 

Many of her accomplishments can trace their roots to 1956, when a newly independent Tunisia made the bold decision to allot 20 percent of the country’s national budget to education. This guaranteed free, high-quality education for every Tunisian boy and girl. It was a controversial decision for a young country with so many needs, but it left a legacy of educational achievement that has paid dividends for decades.

 

It’s also part of the reason that Dr. Karboul is such a staunch advocate for education. Her talk, entitled “The global learning crisis – and what to do about it,” was originally presented at September’s TED@BCG in Milan. We’re thrilled that it’s now being featured on TED.com.

 

Dr. Karboul’s talk is a direct response to an urgent learning crisis. More than a quarter of a billion children are out of school; millions more are in school but failing to learn. The Education Commission warns that unless we change course now, half of all the world’s children – 800 million of them – will be left behind by 2030. Their prospects for jobs, prosperity, and health will be grim.

 

The Commission has two ground-breaking ideas about education: change the way we do it and fund it. To improve how education works in low- and middle-income countries, the Commission proposes bringing together policymakers, teachers, and others to agree on goals, and then being dogged about holding them accountable. A handful of countries will start this process with the Commission in 2018.

 

In terms of funding, the Commission recommends that countries increase their own investments in education and ensure that funds are used effectively. But even with these changes, there will be big gaps that need to be filled with donor funding. That’s why the Commission further proposes the creation of an international finance facility for education that will multiply the impact of donor dollars.

 

The Commission’s ideas are spreading fast. Dr. Karboul’s TED Talk has been viewed more than 700,000 times in just ten days!

 

The Minerva team looks forward to working with the Education Commission in the coming months to help transform their bold ideas into a reality where all kids are in school – and learning.

 

For details on the Education Commission’s recommendations, check out their Learning Generation report.