EPOL professor gives keynote on youth policy and the Middle East

by Linda Herrera (lherrera@illinois.edu)  /   Feb 22, 2018

Figure with Caption 
Cairo University students march against a fee increase. (Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy. All Rights Reserved.)

Professor Linda Herrera of the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership gave the keynote address during the Opportunities and Choices in Dutch Policies for the Middle East - Youth Conference, which was organized by Het Grote Midden Oosten Platform in the Netherlands. The title of Herrera's talk was "Youth and Precarity: The Need for Changing Development Paradigms.”

In her talk, Professor Herrera reviewed the major research and policy trends on youth in the Arab world from the United Nations and European Union. She conveyed that people must not fall into the trap of reducing education to test scores and assuming that high scores translate to secure livelihoods. In addition, Herrera called for the support of educational programs that build community and strengthen social solidarity.

Herrera's talk was followed by working sessions with members of the development community to formulate concrete policies to present to the Dutch government. Many of the ideas related the need for innovative ways—including through online learning—to support the education of refugees, particularly from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, and Yemen, where schooling has been disrupted by wars, political conflict, climate, and poverty.

The event included policymakers from the Dutch government, members of the business community, and individuals from international nongovernmental organizations.