The Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning is facilitating a ‘collision of minds’ – an Open Summit that aims to create strategic directions for enabling 21st Century learning opportunities for students in regional areas of developing nations. The Summit will be held in Musanze, Northern Rwanda, about 90 minutes north of the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
This is no small task. With entrepreneurial thinkers, action-oriented people and those with a commitment to serving this generation, we hope to create sustainable and economic options for improving infrastructure associated with school and schooling. The summit has the support of the Director-General for Education in Rwanda and the Kigali Institute of Education. It will also draw on the experience and wisdom of local principals and school leaders. More than 50 government school in the region are administered by the Anglican diocese of Shyira, under the leadership of Bishop Laurent Mbanda.
The Summit program has been organised to enable participants to enter into a brief journey to understand and appreciate the local context through visiting schools in the region. These experiences will enable participants to experience, first hand, the challenges facing schools and provide a springboard for conversation and strategic planning.
Rwanda faces a critical decade. By 2020 there will be a generation once-removed from the genocide. The young children who survived the genocide, and those born soon afterwards, are now in adolescence. They are the leaders of tomorrow’s Rwanda.
This open summit of minds is being located at Musanze, in the heart of a wider region of Rwanda, where within its rural reaches, life still revolves daily around subsistence farming and there is little income for anything other than short term survival. There are many schools in this region which have been steadily providing an education with little assistance. These schools create the ‘perfect storm’ of need, stoicism, readiness for assistance and aspiration. A summit in this location provides strategic templates for educational change anywhere in the world.
“We could and should have done more”
– KOFI ANNAN
Kofi Annan was the United Nations Secretary General in 1994. In 2004 Kofi Annan made a statement about the Rwandan genocide — highlighting his greatest regret: “We could and should have done more”.
The world let Rwanda down in 1994 with devastating consequence. We must not do that again. And now as Rwanda continues to rebuild, reorder and reset their society, they welcome ‘borrowed talent’ — People whose thinking can help them move forward.
Who is it for?
This Summit is for anyone who can come with ideas, creativity and strategy that will help to bring solutions to improve educational and — ultimately — life outcomes for young people in regional areas of developing nations. When members of the broader SCIL educational community visited Rwanda, they were moved to action.
The summit is open to contributors, from any nation who are able to dialogue and bring solutions. There is no one plan or program that will solve the situation, but in true 21st century style, it will be the collision of minds that opens a way forward.
To appreciate the natural beauty of Rwanda and meet the warm and friendly people is a reason of itself. However, in addition, the opportunity to make a contribution to the lives of so many young people is an honour.
You will also participate in the facilitated Open Summit approach to developing solutions. Imagine combining a big problem, within the context of Africa, and matched with the breadth of experience each participant brings.
Where is the Summit held?
The Summit will be held in Musanze, in Northern Rwanda, about 90 minutes north of the capital, Kigali. The Anglican Diocese of Shyira administers more than 50 schools in the region. The Musanze Cathedral provides a space where the Summit can be held, and SCIL is grateful to Bishop Mbanda in allowing the event to convene there.
Stay in the loop for updates over the next few weeks. An initial program has been posted on the SCIL site (http://scil.com.au/rwanda) and registration will open shortly.