I got this email the other day:
Dear Friends, As part of our new open conversation on #RebootingEducation, we are inviting you to join us for a virtual conversation with some of the most innovative voices working across education, on Thursday 18th June. This discussion will focus on exploring the questions: How can schools reboot the future?
Over the past months we have seen COVID-19 fundamentally challenging and changing how we educate our young people. In the discussion 30 leading voices involved in transforming education will share their insights on the unique challenges and opportunities of these times – and what we have to do next to emerge blinking into a compassionate and sustainable future. They will discuss how we can use this moment to redefine our education system in a way that reconciles global ecology with personal values. Our Conversation Starters will be:
- Joysy John, Director of Education, Nesta | @JoysyJ
- Pavel Luksha, Founder, Global Education Futures | @Luksha
- Francois Taddei Director, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research Paris | @FrancoisTaddei
- Kim Polman, Founder of Reboot the Future | @futurereboot
Where to begin! With this perhaps: "Over the past months we have seen COVID-19 fundamentally challenging and changing how we educate our young people."
Given that most UK schools are shut to most students (some 90% of them), it would be more accurate to say: "Over the past months we have seen COVID-19 stop us educating our young people". And there is now no sign that this will end before September – if then.
The damage this is doing to the life chances of some of our most deprived parts of society is enormous, and the DfE seems content to do nothing about it. Open the pubs soon – of course! And the shops and zoos. But open schools to everyone – Ah, well, much too tricky, mate. The opposition is complicity in this scandal as its education spokesperson went on record to "welcome" keeping schools closed. What happened to social justice and combatting inequity? I know that we're supposed to eschew violence, but the DfE really does need a kick up the backside.
As for "They will discuss how we can use this moment to redefine our education system in a way that reconciles global ecology with personal values", I've not a clue what this means.