100,000 Strong Foundation President, Carola McGiffert, and Emily Gustafsson-Wright, guest scholar with the Center for Universal Education in Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, write about the importance of First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent trip to China for Brookings’ education blog:
Earlier this week, Sasha and Malia toured China with their mother, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their grandmother. This wasn’t a bad way to spend their spring break from Sidwell Friends School, which has one of the oldest and strongest Mandarin programs in the Washington, DC area.
Education and educational exchange were a central theme of Mrs. Obama’s China visit. Both the United States and China share the common goal of building education systems that can prepare future generations of workers with the skills necessary to lead these countries forward in the 21st century. As the First Lady said in her speech at Peking University, “Studying abroad isn’t just a fun way to spend a semester; it is quickly becoming the key to success in our global economy…It’s also about shaping the future of [both] countries and of the world we all share. Because when it comes to the defining challenges of our time—whether it’s climate change or economic opportunity or the spread of nuclear weapons—these are shared challenges.” Without a doubt, one of these shared challenges is also to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunity.