Third ICGS Global Forum on Girls’ Education
Dr Melanie Drake, Mrs TC Nkosi-Mnanzana and Ms Leanne Horwitz had the pleasure of attending the Global Forum on Girls’ Education III, hosted by the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools (ICGS), over half term.The conference itself was a gathering of 2 000 schools and professionals in education from 15 countries worldwide.
In addition, St Stithians was well represented in the virtual pre-conference by Ms Bronwyn Myles and Mr Jean Bollweg, who presented on a cross-curricular History and Art project.
Leanne Horwitz is a research advisor for the ICGS Global Action Research Collaborative. Her first cohort of fellows presented their research at the Global Forum, and the 2023 cohort began their journey with a series of workshops. The GARC programme engages teachers in Action Research to improve teaching and learning.
The conference explored aspects of girls' education under the following themes:
- Girls as global citizens
- Girls as entrepreneurs and innovators
- Girls as social activists
- Girls as political leaders
- Girls as artists, creators and performers
- Girls as environmental champions
- Girls as scientists
- Girls as inclusive allies
- Girls as happy, healthy individuals
- Girls' Schools as educational leaders
The keynote speakers included Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, as well as President and Co-Founder of SOLA (School of Leadership Afghanistan) Shaban Basij-Rasikh. The virtual pre-conference saw the likes of world-renowned expert on teen girls, Lisa Damour, as well as co-founder and board member of the Malala Fund, Ziauddin Yousafzai. He is the proud father of Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai.
All the speakers spoke with passion about the potential the girl child has to make a meaningful contribution in the world. Their call to action for us as teachers was that we continue to ignite the fire that will burn in our young people long after they have left our classrooms. The Forum was a unique opportunity to engage with colleagues in the specialist stream of girls' education on a global scale. While our students have a unique experience at the Girls' College and Prep due to a number of factors, generally, as a collective of girls' schools, we have very similar experiences which are shaped by the shared value of the importance of educating independent young women who will have a positive impact on the world. It was affirming to see that the GC and GP are working to advance all the themes identified by the ICGS as skills our young women should have developed by the time they graduate from our schools.