After attending The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) for its fourth annual Summit in November 13 to 15, 2012 in Doha, Qatar, I have been part of a yearlong commitment to advocate for “education for all”. With another 29 young education advocates from 24 countries, we started a global discussion.
WISE Learners’ network brings the views of students to the issue of rethinking education. The program builds their advocacy skills to ensure that leaders and decision-makers hear their all-important voice, and it supports their growth as change-makers in education. The basis of Learners’ Voice is that learning is most effective with collaboration between teacher and student. If learners are co-creators of their learning environments they are invested as individuals and as team members.
The current WISE Learners’ network community consists of 111 Learners aged 18 to 25 who were recruited in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. We are from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, and from all around the world. We share a passion for education, and together we represent the unique perspective of the learning community in WISE. The program engages and supports our development as change-makers and advocates in the field of education.
After conducting several online sessions, we have been gathered again in Doha for a ten-day Residential Session at the Hamad bin Khalifa University’s campus where international faculty and experts mentored us in a variety of fields. The program included lectures and workshops on education, public policy, social entrepreneurship, leadership and communication, as well as group work on a specific project in the field of education.
Divided into groups, I have worked with a team of 6 young leaders on the issue of peace education in conflict zones. We have targeted Palestinian children and explored ways of empowering them through healing, meditation, non-formal education and art. We had a range of discussions on the needs and problems of Palestinian children leading up to our project’s input and outcome. After few days of brainstorming, we decided to initiate a project that provides workshops, retreats and activities that involve Palestinian Children, their parents, communities and youth to work together on their self-development as individuals as well as gaining life skills and best practices.
During those few days, the networking among the young education advocates was also strengthened with mentorship and lectures from experts form the
United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Qatar. Being part of this galaxy of educationists and students striving to contribute to improving the education sector, made me realize the important work we do in Peace Revolution for education.
Our work is necessary for schools, universities and institutions. By practicing meditation, education could improve immensely. In fact, students could become happier and healthier and ultimately by practicing meditation, education would become a far more enjoyable and rewarding experience for the children. In particular, in conflict zones such as the occupied territories of Palestine, meditation help relieve stress, anxiety, worries, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, decrease depression, and even a tendency for violence.