Since formalized education was in its infancy, legislators, educational leaders, and governments worked together to develop models that make education more efficient and cost effective–but they often fell short of serving the needs of students or enriching their lives. And, while people under the age of 18 comprise 25 percent of the global population, it never occurred to most people in positions of authority to ask what they need from their educational systems.
Students experienced great tumult these past few years, especially because of the global pandemic. This singular event put a spotlight on the challenges of quality and equity in education. And it is students who can help change how the world’s young people learn.
In September 2022, the UN convened the inaugural Transforming Education Summit, with the ambition to elevate education to the top of political agendas and spur action considering global school closures caused by COVID-19 to address the issues faced by students during this time. 2023 also marks the “halfway point” to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with SDG4: Quality Education to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030.
It is against this backdrop that the Transforming Education Survey was launched by the World’s Largest Lesson, in partnership with UNICEF and UNESCO. This uniquely global research gave voice to those not usually heard and represented a diverse group of students from across the world, with 37,000 students responding from 150 countries.