The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us all too well that the world’s countries are interconnected. It may be hard to spare a thought for schools in the global South, but Christopher J. Thomas, PhD ’96, argues that we have to care.
On this episode of School's In, Thomas, a social entrepreneur in residence at Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) and former advisor to the World Bank, shared some startling statistics with hosts GSE Dean Dan Schwartz and Senior Lecturer Denise Pope.
By 2050, 85 percent of the world’s children will live in Africa and Asia, Thomas said. Ten years from now, those continents will be short nearly 70 million teachers.
Today’s problems—climate change, jobs and technology, public health, inequality, economic well-being—"will need the ingenuity and the resources of every human being on this planet to resolve,” he said.
Thomas discussed how to start building that teaching force even in places that lack basic safety, let alone universities. And he spoke about why it matters on a human level.
“When I look at young people, I see their values, I see their aspirations — for a cleaner world, a safer world, a more inclusive world. I hope schools will give them the opportunity and the skills and the competencies to build that world.”