The Italian schooling system with its many virtues takes stage front abroad as well. In all, forty-five students (boys and girls) and teachers representing 22 schools from all over Italy took part in the 2018 edition of the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai which took place in mid March. These schools were the winners of the contests organised by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research based on the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations Programme for Sustainable Development (Hack-2030 & Model-2030).
During the activities at the Forum of Dubai, a group of girls and boys gave their lively contribution to the “United Nations Simulation Conference” which mimicked the negotiation techniques used during the UN General Assembly. Others took part in the prestigious “Solveathon” workshop organised and led by lecturers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) of Boston. As envisaged by the Forum of Dubai, our youngsters worked closely with their peers from other countries, helped by mentors, specialists and researchers as they strove to imagine new models and solutions which would foster effective cooperation on global citizenship – a theme which has been passionately relaunched by MIUR (Italian Ministry of University and Research). It proved to be an invaluable experience: all those taking part were given the rare opportunity to learn about innovative co-planning instruments and methods and to share their vision of society in the future, working as part of a well-assorted team in terms of country of origin and school syllabus.
The Forum also proved to be an ideal platform for the first meeting between the Italian Commissioner for EXPO 2020 Dubai Paolo Glisenti and the whole MIUR delegation. The encounter was a crowning moment of the Cooperation Agreement signed on 5 March between the Italian Commissioner for Expo 2020 Dubai and the MIUR in a quest to encourage Italian schools, universities and research centres to take an active part in the upcoming Universal Exhibition.
This Cooperation Agreement sealed an exciting three-year programme packed with activities to be carried out in the period running up to the EXPO as well as throughout it for the six-months of its duration. In collaboration with the Commissioner’s Office, this experience puts the active participation of school and universities at the heart of the development process of projects centred on EXPO themes and in keeping with the 2030-Agenda objectives. One of those present at Dubai was Lorella Carimali, the only Italian teacher to rank amongst the 50 finalists competing for the Global Teacher Prize. Organised by the Varkey Foundation, this award is known as the Teachers’ Nobel and the winner will be selected on Sunday when the Forum comes to an end. Having been selected amongst the 50 finalists, Carimali was appointed as Foundation Ambassador and will be asked to relate and disseminate her teaching method over the next 10 years. Before leaving for Dubai, she was received by the Italian Minister Valeria Fedeli and will be collaborating with MIUR on two topics: innovation in teaching mathematics and dissemination of Stem subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).