“As a member of the Youth Panel at the Education Commission, I am empowered to engage my communities”

Education funding

Benedict Joson, left, with fellow Global Youth Ambassador Dawnique Shury, Shakira and Gordon Brown as the #UpForSchool Petition is presented in 2015


The Education Commission – which includes five former prime ministers and presidents and three Nobel Prize winners – is examining how to reverse the lack of financing for education around the world.

It also has a Youth Panel, which includes four of A World at School’s Global Youth Ambassadors. One of them, Benedict Joson, attended the latest commission meeting in Washington, DC, on April 13. Here is his take on the day’s events.

By Benedict Joson, an A World at School Global Youth Ambassador from the Philippines

As a member of the Youth Panel, I am empowered to engage my communities – my hometown of New York City and native country of the Philippines – in consultations and a youth video challenge to garner diverse perspectives on the future of education, skills development and lifelong learning for young people.

With an aim to facilitate the broadest outreach, I have organised virtual forums utilising Google on Air, to allow for civil society, social sector, business and government members to participate.

In order to engage youth ages 13 to 30 for the video challenge, I am using social media and focused email campaigns to my network and their peers. 

On April 13, I represented the Youth Panel at the third meeting of the Education Commission held at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC.

The commission’s research team presented a preliminary report accounting for the latest knowledge and inputs on trends and technologies affecting schools, teachers, students and society with the necessary means and methods to mobilise public and private financing for education.

Prompts from the team and Commission Chair Gordon Brown produced thought-provoking discussions on the “what” and “how” – what is the mission and goals of the commission and how will we achieve them – in order to refine, focus, and strengthen the commission’s case for renewed international investment in the young people of today and future generations.

Based on the closing statement, the attendees found the meeting to be a learning experience.

Moving forward, the Youth Panel will virtually convene in May to provide feedback on the commission’s work thus far, ahead of the fourth meeting in July.

We are co-ordinating and collaborating with local and global organisations, among them A World at School, to get word out on the commission’s work and to energise and inspire both grassroots and high-level discussion and action to secure commitments from decision-makers and educate the public on the issues.

Given that education underpins sustainable development, of which humanity has agreed to more fully realise by 2030, our work comes with a sense of urgency.

This urgency is taken with high regard, because we are not only talking about investing in education – we are talking about investing in children and youth, young members of our human family who have so much potential to do good in this world.

Learn more about a week of education talks in Washington.

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