The prospects for education in a world turned on its axis by the Covid-19 pandemic, and how it needs to be protected and serve the needs of global youth, are to come under the spotlight in the latest edition of Qatar Foundation’s Education City Speaker Series.

Held in partnership with Education Above All and Qatar Foundation’s (QF) World Innovation Summit for Education, the online panel discussion on September 16 will see experts and activists explore ways in which education can be disrupted, safeguarded and made more accessible, and the role of young people in building more resilient societies and economies as the world aims to rebuild from the coronavirus crisis.

The virtual edition of QF’s global platform for dialogue – titled 'Building The Future Of Education: How To Prepare Our Youth For A New Normal' – is taking place in the wake of the United Nations’ first International Day to Protect Education from Attack, adopted following a proposal by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Education Above All.

It also comes as a new academic year begins amid an ongoing pandemic, which has created huge challenges for educators.

Panelists will be Dr Jaime Saavedra, global director for Education, The World Bank; Dr Hassan Rashid al-Derham, president of Qatar University; Nada al-Nashif, United Nations deputy high commissioner for Human Rights; Dr Mamadou Dian Balde, deputy director within the Division of Resilience and Solutions at the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency; Dr Geetha Murali, CEO of Room to Read, a non-profit organisation focused on children’s literacy and girls' education in Asia and Africa; and Obakeng Leseyane, a South African student and education activist who founded EdConnect, an initiative enhancing to education for underserved communities in his homeland.

Moderated by Dominic Regester, programme director with non-profit organisation Salzburg Global Seminar, the discussion will focus on topics such as how the lessons education systems have learned during the pandemic may help transform them; the actions and solutions required to ensure every child’s right to an education is respected; and what education needs to become if it is to prepare young people for an uncertain and rapidly-changing world.

The talk will be the fourth online edition of the Education City Speaker Series, which, in keeping with QF’s commitment to ensuring dialogue never stops, has continued during the Covid-19 pandemic and drawn tens of thousands of viewers from around the world, a press statement notes.

Launched in 2018, the initiative enables audiences from Qatar and beyond to hear from, and interact with, experts and thought-leaders on key topics shaping global society.

Its latest edition will take place from 4pm to 5.30pm Doha time on September 16, with a 45-minute discussion being followed by an opportunity for the online audience to put their questions to the panelists. It will be available to view on Microsoft Teams with English, Arabic, French, Spanish and Italian subtitles, and also on QF’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

For more information and to register, one can visit

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