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Transforming Education from Within: Insights from Andrew Cunningham and Schools2030

Schools2030 is revolutionizing African education through localization. Dr. Andrew Cunningham says, "Teachers' realities matter," emphasizing the need for grassroots solutions. His insights will enrich the upcoming New York workshop, blending global vision with local wisdom for educational transformation.

As we look toward the future of education, the importance of localized solutions and innovative educational approaches is impossible to ignore. Schools2030’s initiatives are setting a new paradigm that emphasizes community-driven changes.

“The question has become clearer and clearer over the last three years and continues to be for the next seven years, that teachers’ realities matter and teacher leadership matters,” says Dr. Andrew Cunningham, Global Lead for Education at the Aga Khan Foundation, and member of the founding coalition of partners for Schools2030.

Localization isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a necessity for the success of African education systems. What works in one part of the world doesn’t necessarily fit in another. Every country, and indeed every community, has its own unique set of challenges and needs. Schools2030 understands this principle well and is laying the groundwork for long-lasting educational change.

Schools2030 is at the forefront of advocating for a holistic assessment, using human-centered design methodologies that put the educator and the student at the center of learning solutions. It is a global, decade-long initiative that seeks to transform education systems through a focus on educational access, quality, and equity. The ‘bottom-up’ approach asks the critical questions—why and with whom are we making change?

“How we better assess, innovate, and showcase what works to improve holistic learning outcomes and quality learning environments [matters]. Rooted in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda (three of the Schools2030 countries), teachers themselves have proven that they know how to measure and actually act and innovate and advocate for what really works, in some of the most marginalized contexts… [They] are becoming leaders in policy, discussion, and dialogue. That is flipping the equation around how are we designing what will work.”

Andrew Cunningham’s insights offer a fresh perspective on why localization is essential. Having worked across the spectrum, from grassroots initiatives to global development organizations, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. His perspectives will be of great value during our upcoming Localization and the Role of Finance in African Education side event, in New York, alongside the United Nations General Assembly, where these ideas will be explored and engaged, with a view to distill further actionable strategies.

“And that’s why we’re excited about having the conversation with friends and partners,” shares Dr. Cunningham, “and making more pathways and platforms where educators themselves are seen as the entrepreneurs of our time.”

Incorporating local insights into global dialogues, Schools2030 and leaders, like Andrew Cunningham, are not just talking about change; they are embodying it. As we gather in New York, we will all look to be a part of this transformative journey of localization in education.

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