NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Thursday joined heads of the prestigious G-20 League of Schools where issues of environment, leadership and value-based education formed the central themes of discussion.
The conference at the Brookhouse School in Karen brought together delegates from across the world to discuss key issues facing global educators and their roles as leaders in the sector.
The G-20 League of Schools is a global organisation that brings together heads of the world’s leading institutions for an annual conference. It is the first time the conference is taking place in East Africa.
The association includes schools from 20 countries drawn from across the world including Australia, Canada, Africa, US, UK, and Asia.
Kenya, Ghana and South Africa are the only countries from Africa that are represented in the G-20 group. Brookhouse School, under the leadership of John O’Connor as the director, is the youngest member in this league of schools.
Opening the conference, the First Lady underlined the need to adequately equip the students to enable them engage with the pressing environmental issues of the 21st Century.
“As a global community, we need young people to develop the skills they need and access the necessary resources to support conservation efforts and further engage in the environmental policy making process”, she said.
The First Lady said there is need for young people, irrespective of what career paths they choose to pursue, to begin thinking about how they are going to drive development and how they will implement their innovations in a way that is environmentally sustainable.
She said the world is witnessing the emergence of a more bold and visionary young generation that is ready to build a better world through progressive experimentation with new ideas, questioning the status quo and defying dogma.
“We are seeing a generation that is willing to take chances and chart their own paths”, said the First Lady adding that educators need to direct this passion, support their (youth) interests and empower them to be radical, but not reckless catalysts of change.
The First Lady said the world is witnessing a new push to offer children the much desired holistic education and experience which empowers them to be active citizens and contributors to the progress of humanity.
She said the new approach to holistic education will enable the students to be more engaged and socio-politically conscious citizens who see their unique career paths as roads to one simple goal-making this world a better place.
The First Lady thanked students attending the conference for their curiosity about the current state of the world and for what they are doing to engage with the challenges facing their communities.
During an interactive discussion the panellists who included the G-20 environmental ambassador Paula Kahumbu, the discussants focused on a raft of issues that impact on the environment including politics and corruption, agriculture and energy.
They also discussed the issue of pollution from plastics, hazardous gases, lack of information and the serious disconnect between the youth and environmental issues.
The panellists agreed that education and innovation were the key solutions in tackling environmental degradation issues.
O’Connor, who hosted this year’s G-20 conference was also among the key speakers.