The participants in the roundtable on “Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic,” that the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) held, presented a set of ideas on ways to adapt educational systems to the needs of young people, and the importance of reconciling educational curricula with the skills necessary for addressing the changes and challenges of the labor market. The meeting gathered several experts and specialists yesterday Thursday, July 15, 2021, at ICESCO headquarters in Rabat.
In his speech, Dr. Salim Al-Malik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), stressed that the Organization takes into account the importance of building the capacities of young people and developing their creative potentials to excel in their professional lives through holding a series of training courses to provide them with the necessary tools to face future challenges, enhance their proactive capabilities and contribute to the sustainable development of their societies.
Dr. AlMalik added that ICESCO seeks to support the countries of the Islamic world in all fields related to education, science, and culture, especially in building the capacities of youth and women, using artificial intelligence, and instilling the values of dialogue and coexistence. He pointed out that the roundtable is a step towards further cooperation with the UNICEF in protecting the rights of children and young people to help them meet their needs and increase their opportunities to achieve their aspirations.
Ms. Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Morocco, indicated that the global repercussions of the Covid 19 pandemic prompt us to act to enhance youth resilience. She stated that the roundtable is an opportunity to listen to young people’s views and aspirations, and review their skills and ways to develop them; and as such, it is a starting point for a series of fruitful activities and meetings with ICESCO.
Then, Mr. Khalid Chenguiti, Education Specialist at UNICEF, made a presentation on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people and their skills and indicated that in order to develop them, there is a need to proceed with the implementation of a methodological and comprehensive vision of education in the countries of the Islamic world. Dr. Kais Hammami, Director of ICESCO’s Center for Strategic Foresight, explained the importance of foresight for young people and gave an overview of the work of the Center and its role in promoting a culture of foresight in the countries of the Islamic world.
Mr. Ahmad Outizki, a pedagogical inspector of Arabic at the Moroccan Ministry of Education, emphasized that the “Maharati” (My Skills) project has contributed to the improvement of young people’s skills within the school, through the promotion of teachers’ pedagogical approaches. For her part, the high school student Sabrine Amiziane reviewed her experience in the program “UpShift” Morocco, as well as the methods used in her workshops to develop skills other than those acquired at school. Ms. Oumaima Fariq, the program coordinator at “Douar Tech”, touched upon the importance of disseminating digital skills-focused programs among young people.
This roundtable also saw the participation of Dr. Koumbou Barry, Head of the Education Sector at ICESCO, who emphasized the important role of the family in the development of young people’s capacities to become active actors and to contribute to bringing about change within societies to facilitate their transition to professional life.
The roundtable concluded with a discussion session during which participants shared their views and opinions.