There were probably millions of adults who felt a stab of recognition when Pink Floyd released their “rock opera”, The Wall in 1979, particularly the video featuring political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’s savage animation – which described the British education system as a meat grinder. It’s a familiar theme, not only in the UK, but throughout the Western world where systems of learning often appear designed to trap children in stuffy classrooms and bore them witless. In a recent Gallup poll, a majority of American teenagers, when asked to choose a word to express their feelings about school, said “bored”, followed in second place by “tired”. Julia Gillard, the former prime minister of Australia recently delivered a speech at the London School of Economics where she lambasted world governments for their indifferent approach to education. She said that education is a vital investment in economic prosperity, and a solution to many of the world’s current problems – poverty, climate change, terrorism, war and basic human rights. And yet she noted that across the world, governments’ investment in education is actually falling. More than 260m children receive no education at all, she added. It is predicted that by 2030 as many as 825m young people will lack the basic skills needed for employment as the world of work changes radically, indicating a serious discrepancy between educational systems and skills required for employment in the 21st century. A recent report by the World Bank on youth employment in Sub-Saharan Africa showed that years of poor quality education had produced a generation of young people who are barely literate, and therefore unable to contribute to their countries’ development. Madelle Kangha, UN leader for SDGs, and founder of JumpStart Academy Africa, says her vision is to help achieve the necessary improvements in education in Africa to equip a new generation of young people with the knowledge and skills to lead healthy and productive lives.