Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF) has highlighted the need to empower the youth with quality education.
She was delivering a special address at the opening plenary session of the WISE global summit 2021 on Tuesday at Qatar National Convention Centre.
The event is being held physically and with more than 10,000 online participants worldwide under the theme ‘Generation Unmute: Reclaiming our Future Through Education.’
" Listening to young people and recognising their indispensable role in decision-making is no longer a choice; it is an imperative," Sheikh Moza stated.
"We are all aware that the intellectual capacity of the current generations has expanded because of opportunities provided through technology and quality education – something that was not available to the generations that came before them.
"From the primary stage of basic education, curricula must be created to mould individuals and build a generation that is armed with knowledge and expertise to allow them to participate in decision-making and contribute to solving global challenges. Indeed, our journey in establishing Qatar Foundation was founded on this belief."
The QF chairperson also highlighted the shifting meaning of wisdom nowadays and noted: "In our religious texts, wisdom means knowledge. But popular culture conflates wisdom with age. That is no longer the case. Even early in their lives, opportunities are open for youth to access wisdom through different forms of knowledge available to them through quality education, books, scientific and digital platforms online."
"Listening to young people and recognising their indispensable role in decision-making is no longer a choice; it is an imperative," she concluded as she called on the summit participants to create a space for young people to be heard.
At the opening ceremony, Her Highness also presented the 2021 WISE Prize for Education to Wendy Kopp, co-Founder and CEO of Teach for All. Through Teach for All, Kopp is recognised for developing the concept that meaningful, sustainable education changes need leaders who are rooted in their communities and believe in the potential to transform them to deliver the opportunities all children deserve.
During the opening session, Mariam al-Dhuhani, an independent journalist, filmmaker, curator and educator from Yemen described her journey of education and how the Education City gave her the push to realise her dreams. Meanwhile, Gitanjali Rao, innovator, author and STEM promoter, USA shared her life and how she is able to focus on innovation to promote education. She also said that she used to share her work with about 56,000 students in 36 countries.
Rao, aged 16, won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2017 and was recognised on Forbes 30 Under 30 for her innovations. She was named TIME Top young innovator in 2020 for her innovations and "innovation workshops" she conducts across the globe. She was also featured on the cover of TIME magazine .