GEMS Education partners with UNESCO

30 Sep

September 29, 2011: GEMS Education, world’s largest K-12 (Kindergarten to class 12, K-12) private education provider, founded by Padmashri recipient and Dubai-based Indian business man Sunny Varkey, has announced today its partnership with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to undertake world’s largest leadership training programme, wherein 10,000 school principals will be trained globally.

The first phase of the programme will involve India, Kenya and Ghana. Over a period of four years 10,000 school principals will be trained in these countries. In India, 3500 principals will be trained under the ‘Leadership Programme’.

In developing countries like India, there is very little or negligible training programme for school principals, which in many ways has hampered the effective delivery of education. Therefore, there is an urgent need of leadership training for principals that will help them improve their skills in school management and, thus, enabling them to innovate and offer much more effective and efficient learning at all level of education – benefitting thousands of teachers and millions of students.

GEMS Education will undertake this leadership training programme through its not-for-profit organization – The Varkey GEMS Foundation, which is established to improve access to education for 10 million underprivileged children worldwide. This initiative is part of the Varkey GEMS Foundation’s commitment to action the ’10,000 Principals Leadership Programme’, announced by

former President of United States of America Mr. Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York, USA, on September 22, 2011. Mr Bill Clinton is the honorary Chair of the Varkey GEMS Foundation.

Mr. Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey GEMS Foundation and Chairman of GEMS Education, said at the launch of the initiative, “Being an Indian I always wanted to do something for the progress of my nation. Education is the most important issue in India today. The fact that millions of children do not have access to education is intolerable. For us to confront collectively, some of the biggest challenges such as poverty, conflict, prejudice and intolerance we need to lift the standards of education in this country. I strongly believe that this initiative will drive us achieve it. ”

The initiative reflects calls from UNESCO and the Varkey GEMS Foundation for the private sector to assist NGOs, IGO’s and Governments in supporting the UN Millenium Development Goals, including the need for access to quality education. The private education sector brings unique advantages in education that can compliment the work of the non-profit sector.

Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, said, “This partnership between UNESCO and the Varkey GEMS Foundation (including GEMS Education) is an excellent example of new platforms for cooperation the world needs today. Tackling complex, global challenges require innovative and far-reaching partnerships between the public and private organizations. GEMS Education works for education as a force for development, for individual realization, for tolerance and dialogue and, indeed, as a basic human right.

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