“There is hardly a better time than right now to tackle uncertainty and the fluid nature of our global community with respect to education and access for the most disadvantaged children,” remarked Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director of Educate A Child, at the second ever Oxford Symposium in Comparative and International Education (OXSCIE) 2018. The invitation-only “Uncertainty, Society and Education” event occurred from 19 to 20 June and was co-hosted by Oxford University, the Aga Khan Foundation and the Global Centre for Pluralism. With invited delegates and attendees from all over the world, OXSCIE sought to interrogate the role of education in societies that appear on the verge of fracturing and understand the ways in which the pathways to education are inhibited by new and challenging social, cultural and economic dynamics.
Directly, the symposium posed the question “How can we, through education, best shape and sustain a society that is at once plural and cosmopolitan, prosperous and inclusive, fair and responsible, and cohesive?” In addition, OXSCIE strove to ascertain three primary axes of inquiry: 1) what role education might play in the face of ever changing external influences that threaten the nature of society and the shared future of citizens; 2) what is to be expected of teaching, as poverty, inequality, prejudice, discrimination, and other forms of division increase; and 3) as modern economies and institutions downscale their commitment to the learning poor, how is the impact of uncertainty in the life of children to be comprehended and documented.
At OXSCIE, Dr Pigozzi presented at a round table discussion with colleagues from Integrity Action, Malala Fund and the Global Centre for Pluralism under the rubric of “Uncertainty, Civil Society and Education.” At the conclusion of the symposium, Mary said “[OXSCIE] was an excellent occasion for EAA/EAC to interface with other stakeholders who share our values and concerns, and importantly to consider the implications for education and pluralism now and in the future.”
IMAGE CREDIT: baz richardson