SOT XI Setting Directions for a Brave New World

good morning good afternoon good evening ladies and gentlemen on behalf of Benton house which is the organizer of the school of tomorrow events I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to a world of tomorrow and negotiating a better future this is the 11th edition of fod events which is a part of beef in houses CSR the nonprofit events were launched by beacon house in the year 2000 and the key objective is to help inform the direction of the organization and also to prepared global to engage global communities and conversations which are about the future of schools and society my name is Qasim kazooie and I am deed CEO of Newton house a position that I have occupied since 2005 and it's my great pleasure to welcome you today to the 11th edition of SOT events before I introduce the esteemed panel I just want to let the audience know we have a specific protocol for Q&A it's relatively easy you have a button on your screen which should say ask the question or if you are on Facebook or YouTube you should be able to post questions as comments and we will address as many of those towards the end as we can I will introduce speakers first of all I want to thank them very much for being here with us today it's been a lot of coordination and as some of you who are laying it over notice we still have one speaker missing but in the interest of time we've decided to start we are hoping that they may join us later so we have with us in alphabetical order we have dr. Michelle Phan dr. Michelle pound is an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which is a UK's top Public Health University she is also open silent at the leading policy think during Adam how Center for universal health dr. Michelle Kwan is a social epidemiologist which is the word that I have just learned to clean up before this call this session and she specializes in health policy and system research particularly in South and Southeast Asia focus is to improve infectious disease controls she has over 15 years of experience in strengthening strengthening infectious disease control systems in emerging economies particularly in Myanmar Bangladesh Pakistan Kenya Cambodia and she'll also worked in China she holds the doctoral degree from the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine and a master from the University of Cambridge thank you dr. Mitchell father thank you we are also very honored to be joined by Baroness Mubarak today Baroness Mubarak is a conservative member of the House of Lords and was a member of the European Parliament for fought on behalf of Scotland until January 2020 I am assuming that would be an elder exit yes prior to entering politics Baroness Mubarak has had a distinguished career in business and she founded a technology company with her husband in 1997 and she's been active in a number of business voluntary and charitable organizations she was also a member of the Council of the Confederation of British industry from 2001 to 2011 and then from 2011 to 2013 she was the chair of that Council in 2013 she was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Edinburgh and cognition of a contribution to the business community in Scotland also in 2013 she was awarded the Tampa Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan so I guess 2013 was a cornea for neural asthma body and for Pakistan and finally last but not moving honor to the mr. Schlick Mehmood with the shabath Mehmood is the Pakistan Federal Minister for education and professional training national history and culture and this is a position that he has occupied since 2018 when the present government came into power last November he was elected as the president of UNESCO Education Commission he is an alumnus of Government College Lahore University of the Punjab Harvard University and the University of Southern California and also he's a very important person in my life because he's the Education Minister of Pakistan and as some of you must call Iran schools in Pakistan so I'm very very thankful to all the panelists for being here today I do want to mention that we were expected to be joined today also by mr. Andreas Schleicher who is the head of Col CD Directorate of Education and Skills now mr. Anderson I sure had a last-minute emergency and he has promised to do a 30-minute one-on-one session with need tomorrow and in fact we have said that his second-in-command dr. Van Dam might be joining us today but I guess you and I will find out together if that happens what has not happened ladies and gentlemen before we get into the actual conversation with the panelists here today I want to just talk a little bit about this conference okay and particularly this panel discussion now the objective of this particular discussion is to really lay the foundation for the next three days some of you probably know that we have 20 sessions over the next three days which include panel discussions interviews workshops seminars presentations and you know with people from all over the world it's been quite a task putting it just telling the panelists before I before we you know event life that there are people from all over the world from North America Australia and organizing you know the you know the time slots has been a big challenge now I'm often asked by people by we organize these conferences and I think this is an important point because as most people watching today would know Beacon houses primarily in the field of education we run private schools in a number of countries across the world but because we run schools all over the world and we have over three hundred thousand students in our schools in different countries we feel that it's almost a moral obligation for us to try to understand what the future holds for these students because what I feel is that many of them are attempting an education which is not very different from the kind of education that their parents were in oh we're honored to be joined by mr. Andreas Schleicher the director for the Directorate of Education and Skills at tea or a CD welcome mr. tsuda sure I I really appreciate your joining us today I know that you had a lot of not comparable complications then you're having I can hear you yes okay brilliant I'm just very quickly going to and I believe you hope that the Federal Minister for education for Pakistan because but may move now in the top right corner as doing that your view at the same at nine we have in the bottom right corner the Baroness robotics CBE who is a politician member of the House of Lords and in the top left corner we have dr. Mitchell Khan from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical who is a leading epidemiologist and I still can't pronounce that word and M welcome thank you for joining us so I was just I was just explaining to the audience of the panelists why we organize these conferences and it's because we feel that we we have a kind of responsibility to look at the kind of implication which we're providing in our schools because unfortunately in many schools around the world a view from me would know that it and most of us kids are going through the same education that their parents went through except that it's a very different world the world that they're going to grow up is not going to be the same word as their parents so over the next three days we will hopefully be exploring new paradigms of learning for the future and they're not just looking at it in the context of oh wait hi this is one thing which I feel is very important we are looking at it in the context of the future of Education but COBIT has kind of given everybody if I made a sort of kick in the backside you know do want to really look at what's going to happen in the future we will also be looking at the creation of safer and more balanced futures for generations to come so ladies and gentlemen we are very honored to have today also a very special message from the director general of the World Health Organization dr. Ted Rose at a norm Gabriel's and I do hope I've pronounced it Liam correctly and I request my backstage team to play that message now excellencies colleagues and friends it's an honor to join the opening session of the school of tomorrow conference this is a challenging time for our world copied 19 has impacted all of us exposing weaknesses and inequalities in every nation the reality of our interconnected planet is that nobody will be safe until everybody is safe that's why we must work together in global solidarity to tackle the pandemic I want to recognize the government of pakistan for its comprehensive response to covet 19 it's important that measures to contain the virus are accompanied by efforts to mitigate the social and economic impact of the response especially on the most vulnerable populations in our societies it's also critical that essential health services are resumed as quickly as possible wh ER is working with the health authorities in pakistan and around the world to help restart vital polio programs routine immunization and other services but we should not just think about going back to the way things were this is a turning point in our collective history conferences like this are an opportunity to think about how we rebuild a safer more resilient and equitable world I thank you okay well that was nice I'm already kinda jammed up WH o for that brief message on the conference it's not something that they normally do I would like to request my panelists to perhaps welcome dr. van damm thanks for joining us I'd like to request to Van Dam is these special comes from the OECD as well the very honored to have him here he will be here for the full session and mr. Schneider might be leaving later and then we have a special session with mr. Trichet tomorrow so dr. Farr I want to start with you which is kind of predictable as you just heard right now the director general of the whio was fairly gracious I would say about the way in which the Pakistan government has handled the covert crisis now I don't necessarily want to edit of Pakistan in particular but I move on as somebody who specializes in this field have you been able to identify any kind of patterns or in terms of how both emerging as well as developed economies have handled covert and that say if you for context we could actually talk about Pakistan in the UK because you are based in the UK yes sure I'm very very happy to do that so they don't start by saying that one of the things we've seen is that this distinction between develops in emerging economies or higher in common and lower income countries as far as how effective their responses that might have been we'd expect going in but that hasn't yeah the feature that's distinguished whether a country is done well or not I see that as being quite positive really because often when we go into this some of the country less resources available towards their public programs assume that they're going to have to end up which was outcomes that have great examples Vietnam is one where even with the computer monitor control I think we can just meet yeah in the US and in and in the UK even with a lot of resources there have been concerns with the response I think that's the first thing to start off by seeing the other I'll make two main points one is in terms of the way that responses have been structured one of the common challenges and any concerns from the public has been how expertise particularly scientific expertise has been involved in shaping how politicians have handled the response and I know certainly in the UK that received a lot of questioning and criticism early on who are the advisors what are the advisors telling the government and how is that scientific advice being used in Pakistan that question also remains I think in the UK it's been great that it's evolved and some of the pressure from the public and journalists has meant that a lot of transparency has come about in Pakistan for me we still have that question but exactly who's making the decisions what are the decisions being made on the basis of and I think this is a very critical question the other common elements that I've seen is that in in both higher income and lower income countries what I call the the cracks in our society have really shown up in terms of specific groups that have been neglected in terms of income security access to water and sanitation access to health care and that's where there's been a lot of vulnerability to infection so that's something that's common across higher and lower income countries thank you very much dr. Khan we are going to come back to that it's interesting you noted that there is does not have to be a difference between the between developed and developing countries per se but we are going to come back to that point later I'm conscious that mr. Schleicher has to leave soon so I'm just going to come next to him with a quick question miss mr. Schneider I don't know if you want to reflect on what the w-h-o director-general said but the thing that I really wanted to ask you is that the Guardian recently quoted you as saying that we should certainly after covet not go back to normal because normal meant that we were educating people and I quote as second class robots rather than developing the human skills that are increasingly what will matter most so I just wonder if you want to quickly you know explain that statement of second class robots to us yeah well first of all I actually want to congratulate the Government of Pakistan for reacting quickly to other crisis and dealing with the immediate health situation also in education but it is for India to coast codes then to open them any meaningful way and you're not alone you know worldwide 1.5 billion young people have been locked out of their schools and one thing I think they take away from this crisis is that you know learning is not a place but an activity you know that we need to do better to bring education and technology together in that we need to think more about the qualities of Education qualities of young people that education should develop when I mean that we are good at educating second class robots I mean that we are usually teaching young early established wisdom of our times we ask them to repeat things that we tell them we do too little to teach them to question the established wisdom of our times in a way artificial intelligence has been very very has become very powerful to use an extrapolation from what we know the ingenuity of people is now at a premium and the kind of things that are easy tee's may be easy to test have become easy to digitized to automate to outsource if we want to educate young people for their future rather than our past we need to think very carefully about those kinds of human qualities and I do believe the covert crisis presents an opportunity you know young people who have learned how to learn who can manage their own learning who have the right parental support who have access to innovative technology for them this period has been little Awakening and exciting but for young people who have been spoon-fed by the teachers who learned little bits and pieces of knowledge who did not have the parental support not access to technology they have been left very badly behind this crisis is amplified educational inequality as also dr. Camus to say and this is a sort of bleak reminder that you know going back to the situation before kovat cannot be a goal this crisis presents an opportunity for us to do things differently and actually what I should also say in Pakistan they have been many teachers many schools many institutions writing to this challenge and this is true around the world we have seen so many innovative learning environments emerging using new technologies using new categories and I think this is something that we need to foster that we do not you know go back to the status quo when things returned from normal but that we educate young people for their own very special future thank very much I could not agree more with you in fact we have a session for our audience at the end of day three which talks about News competency skills and values which we need to inculcate for the future because we really cannot continue educating children for the for a world that does not exist any longer but one of the things mr. Stiles with I thought was very interesting was this comment about how it's far easier to close schools then to keep them open and with that I want to come to the Honorable Minister for education for Pakistan and just to get his formants on this because schools in Pakistan have been closed in certain parts in February in the rest of the country since March and I just want to ask the minister two things really one is if he is satisfied with the way in which the government has handled the continuity of learning at our schools and the second question of course which many people actually requested me to ask you sir is when schools are actually going to reopen so over to you well thank you Katherine thank you for inviting me to this to this meeting hoping to learn a lot from this I think at the outset we need to recognize that the challenge that this pandemic has posed is unprecedented so nobody had SOPs ready we did not have any kind of precedents to go by so therefore we had to respond very quickly to the challenge which was unusual challenge so one of the things that most countries did in the world and which we did too was to close schools because we did not want the children to be exposed and the children's health came first obviously but as has been stated it's easy to close but not so easy to to open and we've been spending a lot of time looking at this issue that what kind of benchmarks should we keep in mind when we are ready to open schools we have day before yesterday had an inter provincial meeting and we announced that we hope to start schools in Pakistan by the or not just schools all educational institutions by the 15th of September because there are some events happening in August which would necessitate us to very closely monitor how the disease spreads so I think the factors that will determine for us to finally give the go-ahead would be the the infection rate obviously infection rate among children but also in the society as a whole we will have to look at mortality and things like that we will have to look at the ability of our schools to enforce SOPs so these are the kinds of things that will determine finally when we open but we are very keen to open I think children have suffered the education of the children has suffered a grade B some of the well you know some of the schools have had the ability to do online courses but that is not available to everybody in fact vast majority of the schools in Pakistan do not have the ability to start online or teaching in any case we one of the challenges that we face is internet connectivity for which we are now trying to do something so as far as the learning question is concerned oh well from what I understand is that how as learning proceeded during this period as soon as the schools closed we very quickly scrambled to a television telling school on air which broadcast 10 hours of lessons from class 1 to 12 every day and we have been doing it for 3 months and we are also now beginning to develop new content so on that side we we tried we are also developing a program for the radio so that where the television cannot reach the radio can reach so this was something we were able to get off the ground rather quickly but now we are also looking at this as an opportunity to develop our ability to to improve our distance learning methodology and we have now started a program for developing new content we are also trying to translate into the Khan Academy content so there are different kinds of things that we have started we are now in launching a portal which will have all our lessons or the touch of a button to every student who ever wants to go but then again internet and will ability to have a computer is not available to anybody so there are many challenges and we are trying our best hopefully this will be the disease will go down and the regular schooling starts but at the same time the distance learning that we have started and I will I've opened a separate distance learning wing in our ministry this will go on and we will continue to develop this part of our teaching and learning thank you very much that's been really useful for our viewers especially those of them who are in Pakistan which is of course a large number I want to come back to one point later but I'm going to first ask Baroness Mubarak to say a few words but the point which I want to come back to later is is that you know there's a lot of talk about whether children have milder symptoms where the children are carriers of the disease whether they can infect other people in the same way that adults can and this is of course in the context of school reopening so I'm going to come back to dr. Michelle Kahn on that later but I would like to ask there enough for Eric a really important question and this is this is of course something that the the director-general also referred to in his opening comments now as we know governments in the UK where you are from and across the world have imposed lock terms okay and this has resulted in pretty massive unemployment I think by some estimates it's like 35 to 40 million people just in the United States so the question that I want to ask you given your your background in business and in commerce is that can be really justify the you know destruction of economies just because of a virus because ultimately if the economies are destroyed then people are going to die of hunger which is what the Prime Minister of Pakistan also keeps saying so I'm just wondering if your if you have any thoughts on this well I think the decision to lock down a country could not have been an easy one for any government but I think that at the time it was the right one we're not talking about any old virus is these were decisions made in the face of a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus but you're right the socio-economic impact has been absolutely immense and in fact I think it's too early to begin to quantify what the full consequences of this are what the UK government has done is to try and mitigate the effects of the log done as much as possible with various fiscal and other measures in an effort to protect jobs and businesses and most recently have announced a raft of initiatives which to create in order to create jobs and stimulate economic growth but you know as has been mentioned before there are you know variations across the globe this is a highly developed economy other less developed economies I think the challenges are going to be even greater but you know history shows us that humans have this great inbuilt resilience which enables them to meet unforeseen challenges and what is most important just now is to equip our young people as best as we can for the jobs of the future and but I think that we will be facing facing difficulties for some time to come thank you thank you very much you are right it is indeed challenging especially for countries like Pakistan balancing between you know saving lives and saving livelihoods and that is in fact one of the sessions that we have we have a debate on that during this three-day event so thank you thank you very much for your insight I want to just quickly come back to to you dr. Mitchell Khan with the question which I posed earlier before we come to dr. grand-am the which relates to the reopening of schools can you just tell us very quickly because there are so many myths surrounding this issue somebody said to me the other day that children are you know know of vectors I don't know what a vector is and they can't pass on the disease do you agree with this or not I think the the general sense is that children are less likely to have severe symptoms and therefore potentially less likely to pass it on they have less fire load but clearly there's it's not an impossibility but I think the health of children themselves is less of a concern because there haven't been a lot of documented cases of children having very severe disease so the decision to close schools does reflect concerns about not not just the children's health with them potentially transmitting it to to family members in at all thank you dr. Khurana just for our viewers who have logged on recently because of the limitation of the you know the the speaker's titles on the on the system that they're using we've had to cut off dr. Kahn's title at London School of Hygiene in fact she is she is a sociate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which is the UK's leading Public Health institution I'd like to come very quickly to dr. Van Dam and the you know we were talking about how countries in developing and the developed world have handled the health crisis better have you been able to draw any parallel in terms of how emerging economies and developed countries have handled the education crisis because you know this is what the OECD does thank you and also thank you for the opportunity to join this fascinating panel that's actually a very good question and we are still very much in the phase of gathering data so we don't have a full picture yet but my impression is that the success of policies and the actions that governments have made in education is not in a linear way connected to the distinction we made between developing and developed or emerging country there are many developed countries who actually are suffering and who are not doing as much as they could let's just take the example of the United States where we see this pandemic really taking kind of size and amplitude which is unimaginable there are many emerging and developing countries who actually are doing very well and I would personally as far as the data that I can see I would count Pakistan among them it is especially in some countries where I think there is a huge feeling of responsibility a huge commitment to education that we see the most successful strategies with regard to reopening schools with all the difficulties that we have and that also the minister has mentioned with regard to Internet connectivity the availability of digital resources etc etc but that's my my boss and we are Shia has mentioned this is a huge opportunity and I think the if we have a kind of implicit ranking of quality of societies and quality of education systems and in mind we have to drastically revised that because that there are many countries who are using this opportunity to take a leap forward in in thinking about our education system in how to best serve the needs of all these young people and and the defects diversity of learners so it is this a real moment of change and transformation also in the in the global growth of Education absolutely thank you thank you for your feedback and of course even within countries there are you know differences in how different schooling systems public sector private sector between the you know different schools in the public sector how they so I would I would tend to agree I would like to come back now to the Minister for education one of the things which I know a lot of people are concerned about and I'm personally you know it's something which I think about a lot is that the entire focus right now is about how we're going to address learning losses and how we're gonna get kids back into school but what about the 258 million children globally who are who were not in any school to begin with even before kovat and sadly Pakistan is number two on that list I think we have 22 point 8 or 23 million children according to UNESCO sorry UNICEF and even more unfortunately a lot of demagogues so I'm just wondering do you see this number increasing after kovat meaning that is it are we going to see that certainly from 23 million it'll go to 30 million well Qasim it depends I think initially there would be a setback on this because many of the schools are closing down many of the private schools in Pakistan which were charging low fees are not probably going to survive we'll have serious difficulty and are having a serious difficulty surviving parents are obviously reluctant to pay a fee when their children are not going to school so that's impacting the number of schools which are available on in the private sector in the government sector of course there are there have been access issues or in the past also so I feel that in the beginning or in the first six eight months of this disease this pandemic the globally I see that the number of out of school children will increase but I am optimistic I'm optimistic because now that we are experimenting more and more with distance learning methodology and now we are see we are developing a program in our ministry where we can use the informal teaching methods that we were already to some extent employing but now with the ability to use the internet and a user tablet through which we can or even projectors through which we can have our lessons beamed in from a far off place on to any village wall or any set place so I think that this there is not enough time for me to go into all the details but let me put it this way that we are seriously looking at using technology to access or to reach out to a women reach out to children who are who are not otherwise accessible and I think that I am cautiously optimistic that we will be able to perhaps reach people or reach children mean we were not able to reach before so I think while this is a huge challenge and a huge problem but I think there is there is a glimmer of hope and there is a possibility or that we might be able to make a difference thank you in fact you answered my next question as well because I was going to ask you if you feel that any of the emerging learnings from the kovat crisis could also apply to children who are not in school the out-of-school children so I'm very excited to hear that the government is already looking at that dr. Khanna I want to come back to you for a minute because many people have asked me to ask you this question we have many of us have seen this really depressing cover story in the Economist and you know if it was just some random tabloid online one could have ignored it but the cover story basically stated that kovat is here to stay and that we're simply gonna have to learn to live with it now this applies to everyone on this panel to put Berenice mubarak set about the opening of the economy is what the minister is you know discussing with regards to school so tell us is covet here to stay or can be if there is their light at the end of the tunnel I mean well in societies you know we are already seeing that New Zealand is moving towards elimination so I mean within countries that have defined borders of course one can can aim for that but I think we do have to be realistic and we've seen that allocation that if it exists in any country then there's a risk to all countries so that is that is true so I don't think this is something that we are going to eliminate quickly but I would also you know get us all to reflect a little bit on the fact that there's been many many infectious diseases it unfortunately we've got used to living with we think about Pakistan there's tuberculosis which kills 4,000 people every day and then staying in this malaria so you know why why is so big different I think that we should be concerned about all of these infectious diseases and and strive to reduce their their you know impacts wow I didn't know that you because haces kills 4,000 people at a that's like that is news to me and yes you're right there's a lot of hype I guess I think part of the answer to your question of why is it different is because these other diseases did not emerge in the time of social media so yeah there's a lot of hype surrounding kovat there is a question which has come in from the audience and even though questions are meant to be at the end but I did tell them that if something was really pertinent because there are hundreds of questions coming in but they're coming into the backstage team and they are sending them to be so somebody is asking that until there is a vaccine developed a number of parents may not feel safe sending their children back to school do you have a view on that yes I do I think one of the here is also about risk communication and the perception of risk and this might not be you know popular answer but I would again throw the question back that's that well a we do know that children have a very low risk of having severe disease but if I understand a parent's sentiment of wanting to protect their children I could pick me get that I would ask fans who are thinking about this why I won't be COBIT we know I'll give you two examples there's the big thousands of children in Larkana districts in infected with HIV owing to use of dirty needles if there's a health care system where quality is questionable every time you your child goes into a medical facility there's a risk they might get something I'll go back to the example of dengue or chikungunya where mosquito-borne illnesses where there's poor sanitation and stagnant water your child could get one of those so what are you gonna do lock your child up in one room and not let them pee no that's not feasible so what I would argue instead is that definitely use the concern for your children and families health to push the government and be more active on reducing infectious diseases but don't be so narrow as to only think about couvade and vaccinations and going to school that's not the only go that's not the only thing that can affect the child yeah absolutely and it's very sad actually that because of the covet a lot of people with other illnesses which are probably far more serious have not been able to get the kind of attention at hospitals that they really you know needed to when people have died as a result Berenice Mubarak I'd like to come back to you with a question which you may consider a little bit controversial but I will ask you anyway the UN Human Rights chief recently said that Kuwait has exposed four lines at multiple levels not just in terms of health but also in terms of ethnic and racial minorities because what we feel is in the United States and in the UK where you live a lot a disproportionate amount of people who are getting it in an even more disproportionate amount of people who are actually sadly dying from it are people of color and since you're in the House of Lords which is supposed to review legislation coming in from the House of Commons I'm just wondering that has the UK government looked at tests well I think the UK government did Commission public health England to undertake an inquiry which certainly did reveal that they were a greater number of people from black Asian and minority ethnic communities dying of Kovach 19 than their right fellow-countrymen so I think there are a number of reasons that were identified first and foremost many many of the people in those communities are essentially key frontline workers I mean doctors nurses shopkeepers and many more low paid frontline workers and transport and cleaning and security jobs who were essentially in harm's way and much more likely to contraband you know contract this virus and unfortunately and sadly many more have died but I I do think that the full picture will emerge in the fullness of time because if there are issues of inequality or unfairness then these have to be addressed and put right because it's simply not acceptable you know I think you the United States the same thing there I think recent events have actually highlighted a massive problem an ongoing problem and that which afflicts black people in the United States but I think that particular topic is is a much bigger one and would need you know a whole session to look at that thank you very much thank you I appreciate that yes it is something which is really really important and you are connected to a number of other issues but it's interesting how this crisis has in fact you know highlighted so many other related areas dr. van damm I just like to come to you quickly and ask you about the learning losses that everybody is talking about so if I give you the Pakistan example we had an earthquake in 2005 the Kashmir earthquake and schools were closed for a couple of months and research or that when kids came back to school they were on average about one and a half year behind what level they should have been so what are your thoughts in terms of how we can address these learning losses yes if you allow I would just like to come back to the previous question as well because we have some interesting data that are coming in now it is a popular saying that the virus does not discriminate but that's completely untrue the virus is discriminating and as you mentioned in your question against people of color but we also see that poverty matters that living conditions sanitation matters but we start to understand that actually education matters as much so there is a steep gradient that lower educated people are more likely to die from infection than higher educated people we still don't understand where you are how this is possible it has to do probably with understanding of the instructions the kind of cognitive skills that are needed to perfectly see the risks and you understand the the graphs that television showing every day but it has to do also with behavior washing hands wearing a mask these things are part of what I would call social-emotional skills like responsibility empathy caring for others etc so actually education also has an impact on on the spreading of the disease and especially on the risk of of severe illness and death which is related to infection coming back to your question on on learning loss that's a very important question we have quite a lot of research evidence in the past and you mentioned the evidence from Pakistan from the Kashmir earthquake but we have evidence from other countries in similar circumstances and we of course have the evidence of what happens during the summer months which take sometimes eight weeks two months and in in many countries and the evidence all points in the same direction so a long absence from well-organized learning context does not need to be a school but the longer absence is detrimental for keeping up the learning of achievements and to progress in learning so many children especially those who don't have a stimulating environment at home or in the community where they can practice these skills for example numerous skill numeracy skills and it was his skills by by doing and by living especially those children who don't have these opportunities they really suffer and there are serious setbacks which are in the magnitude that you mentioned sometimes one year of setback during the summer loss that's not exceptional for certain categories of children so how to deal with that I think it's very important for education systems to ensure how difficult it is a kind of continuity in the learning and that's not the same as ensuring that schools remain open there are countries where teachers who are not in school but they go out to families they go on go out to communities to stew to see how they can support children how they can support families and parents in preparing a kind of learning which environment at home so there are many ways in which teachers can still be supporting the learning of children even if schools are not functioning optimally so I personally have I do not like to turn school closures because it suggests that schools are completely closed in many countries there are much more intermediate forms and distance learning being part of it but many other forms as well and it is very important that for the most vulnerable children we ensure this kind of learning opportunity even if it's very difficult to organize thank you very much I was smiling because this is a something that we keep saying to our parents as school operators that the schools are not closed only the buildings are closed because actually many of our teachers are now working harder than they have ever had to work before and not only that but they've had to transition from face-to-face teaching to other forms of teaching whether it is online or as you said visiting homes or over forts or even telephone calls these are and it in many cases it's had to be one-on-one so yes I that that completely does resonate with me mr. shefket Mehmood I have a question from the audience which is because now we've kind of gradually moved into the Q&A portion of the segment or of the session the question is that how will it be ensured that schools will follow the SOP and we'll the SOPs apply to both private and public schools of course SOPs will apply to everybody and there will be no exception I think to start with the expectation has to be and the responsibility has to be taken by the school of management's it is very difficult for the government to go and start doing surprise checks of every institution so there has to be in a sense voluntary compliance by school systems whether they are public or private and therefore we expect that that is going to happen but in case it does not happen and there is some very egregious violations that are going on we do have the option of closing a particular school or a monitor because my mandate is not just schools it's also university is encouraged lucien which does not follow the SOP and it comes to our notice we will certainly guide them advise them but in the ultimate analysis to enforce compliance there is always the option of asking them to close down so I hope it doesn't reach that point I hope that everybody recognizes that they their own responsibility I think that at least in the other areas I find that more and more people are wearing masks now so there's voluntary compliance similarly we hope that as far as SOPs in the schools are concerned the teachers the managers even the parents and the students will voluntarily comply with the SOP guidelines thank you fair enough I just hope that we are able to apply these uniformly and I think where this question is coming from is that in 2014 or early 2015 they were certain which was a time when Pakistan in particular was experiencing an upsurge in extremist incidents Duvall's there were a lot of SOPs that were issued by the government in terms of how security of schools had to be upgraded but unfortunately the focus was mainly on private schools and not so much on public schools so I I hope that in this case we we all recognize that all children are important whether they're going to a government school ATO private school or were low cost private school and that SOPs really should be or to about that night yes and madrasahs thank you very much thank you very much absolutely dr. Michelle I have a question for you which again a number of people ask me I'm sorry I'm directing all the depressing questions at you is this going to be like a hundred year phenomenon like you know we had the Spanish flu and then we had this 100 years later or are we going to see more and more frequent pandemics now because again there's a lot of misinformation circulating about this so I think that that we will I'm not sure hopefully you know pandemic of this scale it there have to be a lot of circumstances that come together for it to happen but outbreaks of what we call new infectious diseases are becoming more and more common part of that is because humans and animals are interacting more where we're going into areas where humans haven't been before so yes there certainly will be and what's going to prevent a localized outbreak of disease becoming a global pandemic will be whether we have systems in place to contain so so you know it's it's actually something that we're not passive in if our choice if we are going to build public health systems that prevent pandemics then we won't have pandemics but if we don't invest in that and we say that we're caught of God again and again and again after scientists have been warning about it then then yes it will be a frequent occurrence you're muted soon I am indeed I've been lecturing other people about talking while they're muted for the last one month yeah my my follow-up question for you was that is there such a thing as herd immunity or is that just like some kind of urban or you know political myth so there's definitely that hurt you can have had immunity to infectious diseases the I think the confusion is about so that's in a way when it enough people I knew that the the infections doesn't spread any anymore but for coded if it was I think a very misleading concept to start off early on because we've seen even say countries like Spain that have had very high infectious infection rates only about five you know percent of the population seems to have immunity so this idea that then it will just spread and suddenly everyone's going to have had it it will be in that's not emoji and also it's quite dangerous to do that with a new infection because we don't know what it's going to do to people what the long term effects are going to be so I think for couvade the idea that we just let it spread and we wake up one day and everyone will be a minion and whoever was going to die would have died that's that's pretty dangerous way of thinking Thank You chef Kasab I have one very I know it's kind of broad question if you want to just make a quick comment this is on girls education so you may have seen Malala yousafzai's address to the Canadian Parliament it was a bit difficult to see because every three seconds they were the standing ovations but one of the things that she mentioned is that statistics have proven that countries in which girls complete secondary education have witnessed an increase of like I don't know 92 billion dollars and their GDP she also mentioned that those countries have a 50% less occurrence or a chance of war breaking out so this is countries in which girls are educated so do you want to just quickly comment on what the Pakistan government is doing in terms of making sure that more girls enter the system well let me begin by saying that yes of course girls education and girls secondary school education has a tremendous impact on so many other indicators and that's the research has shown that the difficulty that we have seen regarding more widespread girls education is number one access because our the parents are reluctant to have their children the girl girls go far away from home for foreign for schooling so therefore we will have to move forward and build more schools but I think that again I will go back to what I said earlier new technology is making it possible for us that we don't have to go the brick-and-mortar route and we can form as I mentioned earlier there is a small device which can beam a lecture or on any surface and that this kind of thing can bring girl closer to the homes of the girls and improve access so once I access it improved the the social barriers of sending the guilders far away from home would lessen they will not go away but they will lessen there are other social factors involved true unfortunately things like early marriage and so on and so forth these things also impact girls be getting higher education or secondary education but clearly I think there is a possibility of reaching the girls much more now with technology than before thank you I appreciate that and I think that it will be amazing if we can really focus on girls education in countries across the world but particularly in developing countries like Pakistan before I conclude Baroness Mubarak I was just wondering if you want to quickly add on to the this the what the minister said about girls education I know that you have maintained close linkages with Pakistan over the year so if there's any input you have that would be useful sorry you're on mute yes absolutely I think they're girls education it goes without saying it's absolutely vital for the successful economy and a successful country successful society and we've had a period of reflection these past few months and I think this now affords us the opportunity to do things differently you know we need to aspire to a cleaner kinder world but also also to a fairer one where everyone has you know equality of opportunity and and where there's respect for people of all backgrounds and you know for all genders should not be an issue here at all III do believe that there are so many issues that we need to look at but what young people need to do is to grasp this opportunity to want to embrace change to continue to learn it was the philosophy of allama iqbal after all philosophy of revolution about constant change and I think we are in a period of change technological change which offers opportunity and we need to embrace that fully thank you very much for those remarks I you know don't think we could have concluded on a more optimistic note I'm being told now I had I had promised that I would wrap up by five minutes past the are and we do have other sessions beginning in a few minutes so I will now wrap up I would like to thank all of you once again for having joined me today dr. Van Dam at the last minute in your case he's also thank mister Schleicher for joining us for a few minutes dr. Mishra and Baroness Mubarak and of course Minister Mehmood very kind of you I think or here in various countries I know I'm getting feedback from tons of people really appreciated this and you know I I also do want to remind people that once again that we organize these conferences because they really help us as an educational organization in influencing our own plans for the future because it's a heavy responsibility to be preparing children for the future without really knowing what the future holds and these conferences really help us and I hope that schools both in the public and private sector educators policymakers and others who are listening today in different countries you know our last online session had people from 48 different countries are also able to benefit our website is s-- i want to thank the director-general of the World Health Organization initially as I said this is not something that they do on a very regular basis I'd like to thank the panelists once again I would like to thank the audience I want to particularly thank dr. Lawrence Burke for his invaluable help in putting together the concept paper for this particular conference I want to thank of course the beacon house in the School of tomorrow teams which have worked you know we've put together 20 sessions this one just being one of them with about 70 people in about 15 different countries in a period of four weeks so thank you very much everyone at beacon house everyone in the SOT teams I would definitely want to thank our lead sponsor which is UBL United Bank Limited somebody was asking me that you know with everything that's happening these days how is it that you can afford to organize an event like this so I said it's because they're not paying for it okay it is being paid for by our corporate sponsor so thank you you BL your support for this cause as purely noted and I think everybody appreciates it 15 seconds I'm being told ladies and gentlemen please do tune in to our 22 sessions sorry 21 more sessions over the remaining three days including my exclusive conversation with mr. Andreas Schleicher tomorrow at 9:20 gmt thank you very much once again ladies and gentlemen Thank You panelists we are now going offline our next session begins I believe in about six minutes thank you