GESF 2019| Live Blog Day One

23 mar. 2019 |

All the highlights, best pictures and quotes

Enjoy your evening!

That's it from a busy first day of the Global Education & Skills Forum.

The Closing Plenary starts at 08:30am on Sunday, with the GESF Address 2019 and the final of the Next Billion EdTech Prize.

At the other end of the day, the Global Teacher Prize Award Ceremony starts at 18:00pm.

We'll leave you with a picture of The Assembly, where the night is still young.

19:15pm, 23 March 2019

Global media coverage of GESF

18:27, 23 March 2019

Next Billion EdTech prize


The finalists of the Next Billion EdTech prize have been revealed. They will pitch at the Closing Plenary at 9am on Sunday morning. Here are the final six:

Dost - Empowering parents so that children are school-ready

Fineazy - Harnessing the power of AI to help people make informed financial decisions

Praxilabs - Making virtual science labs accessible, usable and affordable 

Sabaq - Providing digital learning kits to help kids get back into school

Signa - Offering online courses for deaf people

Ubongo - Using entertainment to deliver localised learning

17:45, 23 March 2019

Thanking teachers for their unsung work

This evening in Dubai sees the inaugural Global Teacher Prize concert, spreading the message of teacher respect to the next generation. 

The Global Teacher Prize finalists will be on stage alongside Little Mix, Rita Ora and Liam Payne. 

A time for teachers to relax and be recognised for all their hard work.

17:15, 23 March 2019

Investing in human capital

Building human capital, says Annette Dixon - Vice President for human development at the World Bank - requires inclusive health and education services for both boys and girls, as well as long term strategy and investment.

16:25, 23 March 2019

Making the right choices

Inspired by his own accident, Mark Pollock is on a mission to use robots to help people walk again. Read his story here

15:30, 23 March 2019

Rankings - should we care?

More than half a million 15-year olds from 80 countries took the PISA test in 2018. How should policymakers learn from the countries doing best?

"The idea of PISA was to create a level playing field to measure what was once seen as a domestic issue and to inform education policy across countries," says Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education & Skills at the OECD.

"We need to look at the rich information PISA provides about our standard of education and not get caught up in the rankings. The rankings are a distraction," says Joao Costa, Secretary of State for Education, Portugal. 

15:05, 23 March 2019

Closing the gap

It's well known that girls are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects, but what can be done to create a more equal world?

14:40, 23 March 2019

GESF in stats

  • 40 Ministers of Education
  • 100+ Teachers
  • 144 Countries
  • 297 Speakers
  • 2000+ Delegates

14.20, 23 March 2019

Brexit on the agenda

The world is changing. And the UK's plans to leave the European Union are a major change facing future generations.

"I came to the UK as a refugee from Uganda. In a single generation my family rebuilt itself and I am now in parliament. We are a country built on meritocracy, so we need to make it clear that we are committed to maintaining opportunities for young people with or without Brexit," says Jitesh Gadhia, member of the House of Lords at the World Without Education Borders debate.

Former prime ministers from both Greece and Italy were also at the debate.

If I was in charge in the UK, I would ask the people again and hold another referendum - George Papandreou
I think the decision of David Cameron in 2016 was a mistake - Matteo Renzi

14:00pm, 23 March 2019

Pictures of power

Powerful images - taken by the photographer Platon as part of his work for The People's Portfolio - are on display all around the venue.

You can read more about his work in this blog: Capturing the World's Changemakers

And here is just one of the pictures, depicting children from Myanmar who are HIV+.

13:35, 23 March 2019

In search of the centre ground

The former president of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos speaks about how his country can change course and forge a peaceful future.

12:30, 23 March 2019

Adaptive education

How can we ensure that all students reach their full potential? Children should be grouped together according to the topic they want to study, rather than according to their ability, says Hanna Dumont, Senior Researcher German Institute for International Educational Research. Adaptive teaching will be key she says, allowing children to pursue their own interests. 

12:15, 23 March 2019

In praise of teachers

12:00, 23 March 2019

The plight of the Rohingyas

Attention turns to the desperate situation facing many Rohingya refugees who have fled from extreme violence in Myanmar.

We have had enough sympathy. Please build a school for us - Zainab Arkani

Zainab is a Rohingya woman who faced much discrimination and abuse as she grew up. But she was one of the lucky ones - she did receive an education. And now she teaches Rohingya children from her basement in Canada. 

This is the biggest opportunity of my life to talk about the rights of my people -  Ahmed Ullah

Ahmed is also Rohingya, and grew up in a refugee camp. He is now working in Cox's Bazar, a refugee camp in Bangladesh. An estimated 693,000 Rohingya have been driven into Bangladesh, according to Unicef. Over half of them are children. Ahmed's mission in life is to help those children access an education.

10:50, 23 March 2019

A changing world 

Education will change more in the next 50 years than it has in the last 1,000 - Sunny Varkey

10:20, March 23 2019

Opening remarks from Vikas Pota

The chairman of the Varkey Foundation, Vikas Pota, urges everyone to watch and learn from people who are changing the world outside of education. 

Improving learning outcomes is the most important thing we will do. We can only do this by improving teacher status, he says. 

In education if we want to change the world, we need to back our teachers - Vikas Pota

09:55, 23 March 2019

Follow us on twitter

 Key quotes from all the speakers on the main stage at the opening plenary.

09:35, 23 March 2019

The changemakers

10-year old vlogger Braydon Bent is speaking to three inspirational changemakers.

* Mark Pollock - dedicating his life to finding a cure for paralysis

* Mina Guli - running marathons to ensure there is enough water for future generations

Kennedy Odede -  combatting urban poverty and gender inequity in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya

I’m here to remind you it’s my world too. Once this stage is packed away, my generation will be left behind to deal with the mess, so let’s try harder - Braydon Bent

09:30, 23 March 2019

Who is changing the world?

That is the question being asked as the Global Education & Skills Forum gets underway

09:00, 23 March 2019


It's finally here!

Day One of the Global Education & Skills Forum. 

From the opening plenary at 8.30am to news of the finalists of the Next Billion EdTech Prize at 17.45pm, this blog will bring you the latest highlights, best pictures and quotes that sum up the day.

We will also post videos to our YouTube channel. And you can follow us at Twitter or Facebook.

0730: 23 March, 2019