While the global population is becoming increasingly mobilised, many problems persist in today’s world, such as climate change, inequity, social fragmentation and political extremism. Information Communications Technology (ICT), artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology are developing in an exponential pace, bringing both opportunities and changes to the global community. In 2019, UNESCO launched the Futures of Education initiative on the General Assembly of the United Nations, advocating for a reimagination of how education and knowledge can shape the future of mankind in an increasingly complex, uncertain and precarious world. UNESCO Futures of Education – Learning to Become will catalyse a global debate on how education, knowledge and learning will shape the future of human and the planet, and tailor a pathway for education in the next 30 years with creative thinking. The Director-General of UNESCO convened an independent international commission, with thought-leaders from the fields of politics, academia, art, science, business, and education. On 10 November, 2021, under the leadership of the president of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, the commission launched a report titled Reimaging Our Futures Together: A new social contract for education.
This report overturns the idea of individual development advocated in Faure Report and Delors Report, proposing the establishment of a new social contract for education upon mutual understanding that knowledge and education are global common goods. The new social contract shall fulfil the promises on education to prepare for the increasingly complex, uncertain and precarious world. Currently two thirds of the population in low-income countries live in rural regions. The disparities on income and educational attainment between urban and rural regions as well as unstable educational finances have led to the stagnation of development in rural regions. The social contract is a consensus reached among members of the society to establish cooperation for the common interest of mankind. As UNESCO advocates for building a new social contract for education and calls for the international community to strengthen partnership for global prosperity, the rural population is undoubtedly the key participant for realising the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; therefore, a new social contract for rural education cannot wait and must be established as the premise for rural development and revitalisation.
With such a perspective, the UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (UNESCO INRULED) launched the Dialogue Series on rural education development. As part of the Education Open Talks project, UNESCO INRULED intends to build an open and exclusive sharing platform for experts and scholars worldwide to share insights and exchange ideas for the future of rural education, rural development and beyond. In the reimagination of education for the future, what are the key issues concerning rural education? How are small rural schools perceived in different countries? How to ensure quality education for girls and women in rural areas? How to provide quality lifelong learning opportunities for the rural population? Questions as such leads to the issue that must be confronted by all members of the society - the reimagined futures of rural education.
• Formulate comprehensive thinking around the future of rural education in the form of expert dialogue and communicate UNESCO’s vision on the future of education;
• Discuss the theorical and practical implications of rural education in China under the framework of the future of education;
• Engage in the global debate on the future of education from the perspective of education for rural revitalisation and propose new global topics for UNESCO.
• Disseminate the recordings of round table discussions among 3-4 panellists, facilitated by a moderator;
• The discussions will be held in a blended format (both online and in-person).
• Experts and scholars in education development, rural education and related fields.
• The discussions will be held in English and some panellists might participate in other languages;
• English subtitles will be available.
• Should you have any questions or inquiries, please contact us at email@example.com;
• Interested experts and scholars are welcome to send your resume/CV to firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in UNESCO INRULED’s future events.