Director of OneAfricanChild Foundation takes the Stage at the President of the General Assembly Youth Dialogue in New York
Executive Director of OneAfricanChild Foundation, Victoria Ibiwoye addressing the audience at the President of the General Assembly (PGA) Youth Dialogue in New York.
On the 30th of May 2018, the President of the United Nations General Assembly convened a Youth Dialogue at the UN Headquarters in New York with the aim to build a conversation between young people and all stakeholders. The youth dialogue was centered on “Approaches to Education, Employment and Prevention of Radicalisation Leading to Violent Extremism.”
A cross-section of participants at the event.
This was not a regular UN event where speakers already have their prepared statements, rather, the youth participants had an opportunity to engage in real dialogue; expressing their fears and hope for the future. The most important part of dialogue is listening. As such, the event was shaped by and run by the youth themselves. During the open mic segment, member states and youth representatives shared key recommendations on different thematic areas of the youth dialogue.
Victoria Ibiwoye, Executive Director of OneAfricanChild Foundation for Creative Learning and Youth Representative to the SDG Education-2030 Steering Committee took the global stage to discuss the future of education and youth employability. You can find her presentation below:
We live in a rapidly changing world and there is a need to close the gap between education and employability. As we have heard from the voices of youth today, there is a growing mismatch between the skills graduates bring to the table and the standards of the industry.
As a young education advocate, I occupy a critical role within the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee, the multi-stakeholder coordination mechanism in charge of education in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, coordinated by UNESCO and I am excited to be here today to share with you the amazing opportunity that this existing platform provides in bridging the education gap.
As education is the equaliser and solution to lasting peace and sustainable development, I therefore propose the following:
- We must not forget that Education is first a human right and quality basic education is the foundation for learning throughout life. The right to quality education must be
prioritisedand placed at the heart of the UN decision-making processes.
- Furthermore, as education systems prepare to adjust to the new and changing job markets – with focus on innovation and ICT, coding, and AI, it is crucial to sustain the mainstreaming of soft skills such as critical thinking and complex problem solving, media literacy, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, all embedded in the broader target 4.7 centred on education for sustainable development and global citizenship. Education needs to move beyond literacy and numeracy to reinforce values of justice, equity, and global solidarity.
- Preparing youth for the workforce of 2030 must begin at the foundational level and must be pursued through the course of life. Therefore, governments should ensure that the commitment to equal opportunity to effective and quality learning is pursued at all levels and strands of education and training.
- The resources of the private and public sector should be fully mobilized in preparing youth for the 2030 workforce through access to internship opportunities and exchange programs that foster peer-to-peer learning. Innovative financing mechanisms should be explored in meeting the SDG-4 targets and commitments.
- Finally, we need a multi-stakeholder partnership is needed to monitor the targets and commitments of the SDG-4. Several youth-led
organisationshave created solutions to bridge the education and skills gap. We must fully harness the creativity and resilience of these initiatives to engage and empower the youth.
We are so grateful to the Office of the President of the General Assembly for bringing the youth closer to the UN and we hope that this dialogue will create a ground-breaking shift in policy and implementation processes involving youth participation not only at the UN level but also at the community level where they are needed the most.