Patrick Awuah joins Skoll World Forum

This April, nearly 1,000 of the world’s most influential thought leaders convened at the 2015 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford, England. Renowned for advancing ideas and solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, the Forum unites social entrepreneurs with partners through panels and speaking engagements. Patrick Awuah served as a panelist for a session titled Global Development: What should we focus on and how will we measure success. Tune in to the 44:00 min. mark to hear Patrick’s portion.

Leaders involved in global initiatives to prioritize and measure progress, along with social innovators who work on the frontlines, met at the 2015 Skoll World Forum to discuss how goal setting in global development can help, harm, and be improved.

Patrick Awuah highlighted the shortcomings of goal setting in education development. While most initiatives have striven to achieve universal access to education, quality of education has suffered. Using Ghana as a case study, Patrick noted that 50% of Ghanaian students cannot read at all, and 40% cannot read with comprehension – an effective illiteracy rate of 90%. Although school enrollment has increased, the supply of schools, teachers, and working curriculum has not. As a result, more students are attending school, but not functionally learning.

Patrick said, “We do need to take this measurement question very seriously and it’s something that we need to figure out now and do now and not say it’s going to be done over time. The second thing is I feel we need to talk a lot about purpose. Why is a goal a goal? In education we should be thinking about not just knowledge acquisition. We should be thinking about skills, we should be thinking about character formation. We are trying to build humanity, we are trying to build societies.”

In light of disappointing results from education development programs around the world, the global development community is now shifting gears. Organizations are increasingly prioritizing quality of education over access to it. Ashesi University serves as a model for effective curriculum and administration, and has the power to become a standard for education initiatives going forward.