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World Teachers’ Day Roundtable: Supporting Teachers to Accelerate Learning Recovery

October 5, 2021



World Teachers’ Day

Photo Composition: Shutterstock/Adobe Stock | World Bank©2021 | Stefano De Cupis

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  • In celebration of World Teachers’ Day, this event brings together leading voices from the global education community – including teachers, students, and leaders from multilateral education organizations – to recognize the key role of teachers in accelerating learning recovery efforts during the pandemic, and to discuss how to support teachers in this work. 

    • Introductory remarks by moderator David Evans
    • Moderated Panel Roundtable
    • Q&A
    • Closing remarks by moderator David Evans
  • Moderator


    David Evans

    Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

    David Evans is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, working on education, health, and social safety nets. Previously he was at the World Bank, where he co-authored the World Development Report 2018, Learning to Realize Education’s Promise, coordinated impact evaluation work for sub-Saharan Africa, and managed education projects in Brazil. Evans has evaluated education, early child development, agriculture, health, and social safety net programs in Brazil, the Gambia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. He received a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, specializing in economic development and labor economics.



    Najya Gause

    Winner of the World Bank Group and Financial Times blog writing competition, Netherlands.

    Najya Gause is a secondary school student from International School of Amsterdam in The Netherlands, and one of the three winners of the third World Bank Group and Financial Times blog writing competition.


    Shirin Rajesh

    Winner of the World Bank Group and Financial Times blog writing competition, India.

    Shirin Rajesh is a secondary school student from The Indian Public School of Chennai in India, and one of the three winners of the third World Bank Group and Financial Times blog writing competition.



    Marjorie Brown

    Varkey Foundation 2018 Global Teacher Prize Finalist, South Africa.

    Marjorie Brown is a teacher at the Roedean School in South Africa and a 2018 Global Teacher Prize Finalist. She is a former human rights activist, teaching history to girls in South Africa and encouraging critical thinking and global citizenship. She started and still leads the Kids Lit in SA program, devoted to improving children’s literacy in what is still a very unequal society. She popularized the Kids’ Lit Quiz in South Africa. Marjorie has hosted the world finals twice, raising funds through publishers, book dealers, and newspaper corporations. She works with 100 schools in South Africa on the quiz and the result has been palpable in terms of book stocks in libraries increasing and reading expanding. As part of her efforts in the field of literacy, Marjorie introduced the Phendulani literacy quiz in poorly resourced schools in South Africa. Scores of teams from schools who have been participating for over five years have risen steadily, some from 40% to 80%, with the teachers taking on the role of coaches and reading champions. The South African Department of Education is using the Phendulani quiz as a pilot project in 45 new reading clubs from 2018, and Pan Macmillan publishers want to start a Phendulani Quiz in a poor area near Johannesburg.


    Elisa Guerra

    Varkey Foundation 2015 and 2016 Global Teacher Prize Finalist, Mexico, and Member of the international commission on The Futures of Education at UNESCO

    Elisa Guerra was named “Best Educator in Latin America” by the Inter-American Development Bank in 2015 and was a finalist for the Global Teacher Prize in 2015 and 2016. She is a member of UNESCO’s International Commission for the Futures of Education. Elisa holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University. After teaching her own children at home, she founded “Colegio Valle de Filadelfia”, a network of 10 schools in her native México and across Latin America. Elisa is also an international speaker and author. She has lectured in English and Spanish in 17 countries around the world and has published more than 25 books and textbooks. Formerly an early childhood educator, she now teaches creative writing and literature in grades 4th to 9th. Her work was featured in a 2017 Al Jazeera documentary entitled “Mexico: The Power of Early Education.”


    Nurizcka Everts-Medema

    Head of ICT at the Public School District of Curaçao

    Nurizcka is responsible for bringing about change in the organization using information technology. She implemented a common platform throughout the organization, which is used for collaboration and learning among the administrators, teachers and students. As a master trainer she is contributing to training 10.000 teachers through UNESCO and Blackboard which will greatly impact learning and bring about equity to countless students not only on her own island Curaçao but throughout the Caribbean. After obtaining her master’s in computer science she worked in ICT in the private sector for almost 20 years before she decided to serve in the educational field. She taught computer science at both the secondary and tertiary levels for 15 years as well as serving as an administrator. She has a passion for education, experienced in managing projects in both the academic and industry settings and she uses her knowledge and experience to bring about change in organizations in the area of digitalization.

    Education Leaders


    Stefania Giannini

    Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO

    Stefania Giannini was appointed UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education in May 2018, becoming the top UN official in the field. In this position, she provides strategic vision and leadership for UNESCO in coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda, encapsulated in Sustainable Development Goal 4. With an academic background in the Humanities, Ms. Giannini has served as Rector of the University for Foreigners of Perugia (2004 – 2012), being one of the first and youngest women to hold this position in Italy. As Senator of the Republic of Italy (2013 – 2018) and Minister of Education, Universities and Research (2014 – 2016), she developed and implemented a structural reform of the Italian education system, centered on social inclusion and cultural awareness. She has also been closely involved in an advisory capacity with the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation.


    Robert Jenkins

    Global Director of Education, UNICEF

    Robert Jenkins is Global Director of Education for UNICEF. He joined the organization in 1995. He brings over 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian programming in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Jenkins served as the UNICEF Representative, Jordan, from 2014-2019, and Deputy Director, Division of Policy and Strategy in UNICEF Headquarters from 2009-2014. From 1995-2009, Robert Jenkins served with UNICEF in program and management positions in Uganda (1995-1997), Bangladesh (1997-2000), Myanmar (2000-2003), India (2003-2006) and Mozambique (2006-2009). Mr. Jenkins earned a Doctor of Education Degree from the University of Bath and a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom.


    Jaime Saavedra

    Global Director of Education, World Bank

    Jaime Saavedra leads the Education Global Practice at the World Bank Group. He rejoined the World Bank Group from the Government of Peru, where he served as Minister of Education from 2013 through 2016. During his tenure, the performance of Peru’s education system improved substantially as measured by international learning assessments.