03/10/2013 12:22 BST | Updated 25/09/2014 07:59 BST

Education The Early Theme For One Young World Summit (PICTURES)

The problems facing education in challenging situations around the world have dominated the opening session of the One Young World Summit in South Africa.

The Education Plenary Session, which kicked off the major gathering of youth delegates in Johannesburg heard delegates detailing experiences from countries in the Middle East and Africa amongst others under the umbrella heading of 'How can tomorrow's skills be taught today'.

one young world education

Delegates joining in the education discussion in Johannesburg on Thursday

Introduced by global figures including former South Africa rugby captain Francois Pienaar and musician Emmanuel Jal, the six delegates who addressed the session shared their experiences of combatting education challenges from around the world.

Idris Barzani from Kurdistan explained the impact that the Syrian crisis is having on children, commenting that “refugee camps are not ideal settings for schools”. He is rolling out a charity which is providing refugee children with safe spaces to learn.

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The One Young World delegation also heard of the dire situation in Mali where only 2% of women make it to university. Bintou Soumarou is striving to keep girls in education in order to prevent them from being forced to marry early. Mohamed Camara is similarly working to alleviate poverty through education: born into an illiterate family, his organisation Slum2School has given 600 children scholarship to schools in under a year.


The power of technology and the internet was made evident by Carlos Aravena and Migan Migarian who founded and respectively.

The interconnectedness of the young generation is forcing new models of education and learning to be developed, allowing people who would never before had access to schooling to gain the skills to work, create jobs and empower their communities.

The One Young World Summit runs until Saturday.