Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
OUTLINING DISMAL statistics of the status of education in the world, chairperson of Qatar Foundation Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser is calling for cooperation and coordination from major stakeholders in moving the sector forward.
She argued that it is unfair that in the 21st century there are still 775 million illiterate persons in the world and 61 million children who are deprived of primary education, 28 million of whom are in conflict zones worldwide.
Sheikha Moza was addressing the opening ceremony of the fourth edition of the World Innovation Summit for Education on Tuesday at the Qatar National Convention Centre, in Doha, Qatar.
"If we deal with the problems of education and strengthen the fact that it is everyone's right, then we will eliminate many social, economic, political and security problems that these results would have been able to achieve," Sheikha Moza said.
She added: "If we are to combat conflicts and crises, we need to do it by education. But, despite international efforts in the field of education, there are still serious deficiencies that require serious cooperation to accomplish change."
The three-day conference, which was held under the theme 'collaborating for change', is seeing participation from hundreds of education, corporate, political and social leaders from more than 100 countries.
Sheikha Moza stressed the need for innovation to meet the challenges of education.
In the meantime, Naledi Pandor, minister of home affairs in South Africa, said there is enough blame to be shared among all for the state of education worldwide.
"Our policymakers who don't have compulsory education as part of the national, global organisations that don't do enough, the media who profile the glamorous rather than the real needs of the children, all of us as humanity.
"If we were to pay attention to changing the character of generations through just providing a basic education to every child, if that became part of our international agenda as the world, and if we made education the obligation of everyone and war an unacceptable activity, we would make a difference," she said.