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A new business contract for education

A new report of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) asks for reflection on the type of education the world wants looking to 2050, suggesting practices that can be maintained or abandoned.

The document “Imagining Our Futures Together: A New Social Contract for Education” proposes that “pedagogy be based on the principles of cooperation, collaboration and solidarity”, taking into account the intellectual and moral resources of students. According to the report, teaching needs to move from being considered an individual practice to becoming further professionalized as a collaborative endeavor.

The paper highlights the importance of fighting misinformation, with schools applying scientific, digital, and humanistic knowledge that develops abilities to differentiate false from reliable data. And most of all: it is essential that everyone can build the future of education – children, youth, parents, teachers, researchers, activists, cultural and religious leaders, and employers.

This exact point leads us to the business role in education. What if leaders propose a new business contract, in addition to the UN social one?

Preparing young people for the modern world, and connecting with the education system can secure them the opportunities to get equal chances to succeed in later life. The British non-profit organization CBI shows this urgency in numbers:

Two out of three young people (66%) are leaving school and college having had experiences of the workplace; one in four people (25%) do not feel adequately prepared by their education for the world of work, and 65% of businesses are willing to play a greater role in supporting schools and colleges.

According to Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, it is more than time to prepare youngers for the workplace, tackle skills gaps, and cement business’ value in society: “A powerful partnership of business, schools, and colleges is succeeding in making a difference to the lives of young people”, the CBI member says.

Sources: UNESCO (2021) Reimagining our futures together: A new social contract for education | CBI Campaign