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Global Citizens


I am fortunate to have been involved with establishing a girls’ boarding school in South Sudan, one of the newest countries in the world. It gained independence in 2011 but it is still locked in a brutal civil war. Ibba School opened in 2014 with 40 girls and despite the continuing conflict, a new dormitory block is being built for the next cohort of 40 girls in January.

90% of girls in South Sudan will never learn to read or write and most girls will be married by the age of 12. The United Nations sees girls’ education in developing countries as a way to help raise economic productivity and reduce infant mortality, as well as contributing to health and nutrition. Most importantly, it increases the chances of education for the next generation.

I think it is important that UK schools become more internationally minded to prepare children to become global citizens with the desire to make the world a better and more peaceful place.

So what do schools need to do to produce the next generation of global citizens? With the limitations of a narrowing exam system, we should remember that children learn just as much outside the classroom as they do in it. There is also a balance to be struck between passing exams and developing the personal skills to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

Starting a school from scratch in a war-torn African country has a different set of priorities but the fundamentals of a good education are the same the world over; to support the students in achieving a good set of qualifications and equipping them with the skills that will give them the confidence to shape their world for the better.

Posted: 10/10/2017 at 15:58
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