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Young people say classroom learning alone is not enough to prepare them for the world

More than 10,000 young people from 150+ countries and territories have spoken – and over two thirds of them believe that classroom learning (formal education) alone is not enough to prepare them for the world. In a series of surveys run by The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, two groups of young people (13 – 25[1] and 16 – 25[2] ) and nearly 2,000 adults (aged 25+) were asked their opinion on the challenges and opportunities that young people face and the skills necessary for success in today’s world.

It highlights that young people and adults alike, see the need for experiences outside of the classroom, as well as in. The survey found that 7 in 10 young people feel they face more uncertainty today than previous generations did. Further, 6 in 10 think growing up is more complicated than it was for their parents and grandparents.

Those surveyed rank skills such as confidence, resilience and determination as important for ensuring young people are ready for the world. Other skills such as leadership and teamwork are also seen as necessary for success, by both adults and young people alike. The surveys mark the launch of a new #WORLDREADY campaign, which aims to drive awareness around the importance of non-formal education in supporting the development of young people. It also celebrates the achievements of more than 1.3 million Award participants (and millions of previous participants), in 130+ countries and territories around the globe. The campaign was announced 1st November 2018 in Accra, Ghana, during Forum 2018 – a triennial event which sees the senior Award leadership from around the world come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities that young people face today and how the Award may be able to support them. His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex, Chair of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, joined His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, The President of the Republic of Ghana and other officials for the five day event. His Royal Highness said:

Today's young people are growing up in a dynamic, fast-paced world and the development of skills like resilience, confidence and adaptability is important. Non-formal education - such as that offered by organisations that run The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - is a tried and tested way of enabling young people to challenge themselves, step outside their comfort zone and become positive agents of change, both for themselves and their wider communities. It allows them to develop the skills they need to step confidently into the world of today and tomorrow.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Barbados has been running for 55 years. It currently sees more than 300, 14 - 24 year olds participate every year. It is available at 14 of the islands private and public secondary schools. Additionally, it is offered through the Barbados Cadet Corps, The Girl Guides Association of Barbados and Barbados Boy Scouts Association. Jamar Odwin, the Deputy Chairman for the Award Council in Barbados speaks about the benefits of participating in the Award:


"Non-formal education programs such as The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award teach young people necessary life skills that cannot all be taught in the classroom. These skills are also key in helping young people find who they are and where they want to go.

Over the last year being a part of the Award has offered me some amazing opportunities. This year I have found myself in Ghana, as Emerging Leader for the Americas; not only for Forum but for the launch of the #WorldReady worldwide campaign."

[1] Survey of 7,681 13-25 year olds across year olds from countries & territories including Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana & India. In conjunction with U-Report. September 2018. [2] Survey of 3,487 16 – 25 year olds across 80+ countries & territories including Turkey, Barbados, New Zealand and the UK. July – September 2018.

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