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  • GESF 2016 opens in Dubai with call to recognise the power of education to address challenges of today’s Two-Track World
GESF 2016 opens in Dubai with call to recognise the power of education to address challenges of today’s Two-Track World

The fourth Global Education & Skills Forum (GESF), convened by the Varkey Foundation and held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, opened in Dubai with a call to acknowledge the power of education to deal with the challenges these days's two-track world.

Delivering the opening keynote address on 'The State of Our World,' Fareed Zakaria, CNN GPS host and Washington Post writer, stated we reside in an age of anxiety with the world today progressively polarising to 2 tracks underlined by the forces of globalisation and technology development.

Zakaria said that those who have such access to education and capital will discover the world their oyster, filled with chances, while those on the other end of the spectrum experience a great deal of pincer movement with incomes being pushed down and chances lost.

Pointing out the experience of the USA, where over 14 million jobs were produced in the past seven years, Zakaria said the growth was dispersed unevenly, with vast bulk of the opportunities going to those who had great education and access to capital.

Innovation, meanwhile, is rewording the rules even in nations that have access to cheap labour, which are significantly resorting to automation "to meet the high worldwide requirements of quality" that are anticipated.

"To resolve the obstacles in the two-track world, there is only one powerful weapon - Education," stated Zakaria. "It is essential to identify the value of education in the broadest and inmost dimension.".

Zakaria explained the GESF as the 'Davos of Education' well on course to ending up being the 'Oscars of Education,' with its high production values.

In his unique address, Sunny Varkey, Founder of the Varkey Foundation, drew interest to the ‘global education crisis’ that the world witnesses today. "Fifteen years after the Millennium Development Goals were developed, 58 million children around the world still do not participate in primary schools while half a billion kids are in failing schools.At current rates of progress it will take until 2072 to end youth illiteracy. Several more generations will miss out on the chance of a decent life for themselves and their families,” he observed.

On education being regarded as Goal Four of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, he said, "it has ended up being a practice to treat education as a 2nd order issue, to be dealt with when poverty has actually been gotten rid of, hunger ended, and health care enhanced. There is no end to poverty or disease without education.

Varkey said a brand-new hazard to education has emerged over the last few years. "Conflict and mayhem in the Middle East are preventing a whole generation of young people from going to school. Education has actually been the silent casualty of the civil war in Syria, where a minimum of a quarter of the schools have been harmed or destroyed and practically 3 million Syrian kids are out of school. Far the world's response has been entirely insufficient.".

"It is not only important to discover more cash to get rid of the crisis," said Varkey, "but my belief is that by pooling our creativity, kindness, and persistence, we can jointly overcome this education crisis. If we collaborate-- federal government, business and civil society-- we have it in our power to finally offer every kid their due: a great education ... Remember whatever the concern, Education is the answer.".

He highlighted the need to "treasure teachers" in this effort. "Teachers develop a bridge from the present to the future, taking us from where we are to where we want to be, turning our dreams into fact. They bring us really hope, chance and self-respect.".

Varkey stated that the Global Teacher Prize he introduced 2 years earlier has actually now made great development. "The Global Teacher Prize commemorates all the instructors around the world and the great work they do every day." This year the Prize received 8,000 applications from 143 nations.

Attending to the Forum, Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills, at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), France, went over the collective duty for public education.

He called for ingenious approaches to resolve the difficulties of how "we share the expense and benefits of education; and how the most intelligent kid-- and not the most affluent-- get access to education and the best ways to make reforms happen," in an environment where there is resistance to change.

He suggested four essential elements to achieve effective reform in education: "A shared vision with clear and constant priorities that extend across government and are developed by the society; a clear efficiency management technique with proper targets and rewards success; building frontline ability and a clear delivery architecture.".

Vikas Pota, Chief Executive Officer of Varkey Foundation, UK, said the Forum currently hosts over 1,600 delegates from 110 countries, and features 61 sessions and 145 speakers, of whom 80 per cent are brand-new to the occasion. Setting the scene for the discussions, he said that it is just not acceptable that we have 58 million kids out of school and over half a billion students in failing schools. He prompted the delegates-- federal government, private sector, teachers and NGOs-- to take collective duty to ensure public education.

With partners including UNESCO, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Dubai Cares, GESF features intense debates on reconciling the significance, quality and inclusiveness of both public and personal learning environments. A series of 30 minute EdTalks motivates and challenges delegates in methods they can each take obligation for public education. GESF 2016 will culminate on Sunday March 13 with the live announcement of the 2nd yearly award of the US $1 million Global Teacher Prize.




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