Dubai, March 18
At the inaugural Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, 500 delegates from 50 countries discussed the global demand for better education.
“Based on the feedback from those that attended and contributed to the forum, we have decided that the Global Education and Skills Forum will become an annual event to be held in the UAE, and our plan is to ensure that the forum is regarded as the Davos of Education,” said Sunny Varkey, founder and chairman of GEMS Education. “Education should be viewed as the most important issue globally because of the role it can play in alleviating some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”
Earlier at the conference, which this year focused on public-private partnerships, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said, “It is projected that by 2050 that 86 percent of the world’s children will be living in what are now developing countries. There is no way that governments alone or international aid flows alone will be able to provide those children with the quality of education they need to be full participants in global society. This is especially relevant for women and girls.”
Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair said, “The future of education lies in partnerships. There is no reason to have strict demarcation between the public and private sector in education. Where countries are implementing public-private partnerships, they’re succeeding.”
“The private sector can provide the link to the marketplace where you find there is a revolving door,” said H.E Maria Kiwanuka, Ugandan minister for finance, planning and economic development. “The link between government, the private sector and academia is important. We need to have this constant cross-fertilization between the three of us.”
The forum, jointly organized by UNESCO, the Commonwealth Business Council, the UAE government and GEMS Education, examined ways to create real, sustainable and scalable change to education systems at global and local levels.
A particular focus was on developing an environment that supports effective public and private partnerships, including a regulatory framework that ensures access, quality, relevance and equity in education provision.
The forum covered topics across the education sectors, including sessions on disruptive technologies, technical and vocational education and equity in education.
Source: GEMS Education