More than 3,000 Ghanaian headmasters and headmistresses are set to undergo training in what is considered to be the largest principal’s training programme in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) history.
The training to be offered by GEMS Education, the world’s largest kindergarten to grade 12 education provider, The Varkey GEMS Foundation and UNESCO, is part of the ‘10,000 Principals Leadership Programme’ which was announced by President Clinton as a ‘commitment to action’ at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York on Sept 22nd.
President Bill Clinton is the honorary Chair of the Varkey GEMS Foundation.
The objective of the training is to bridge gaps among principals, who are sometimes appointed with little preparation for school leadership and in underprivileged areas, some lack sufficient training.
It is aimed that after the training, which will be conducted in phases, the 3,000 principals will be equipped to not only provide pedagogical support, but assume a guidance and counselling role for teachers, learners, and parents as well as planning and maintaining adequate financial material and teaching/learning material.
The first phase of the programme will involve Ghana, Kenya and India. 10,000 school principals will be trained, across each country over four years. This initiative will up-skill those school leaders and the multiplier effect will benefit thousands of teachers and up to 10 million children.
The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova said at the launch, “This partnership between UNESCO and the Varkey GEMS Foundation (including GEMS Education) is an excellent example of the new platforms for cooperation the world needs today. Tackling complex, global challenges requires also innovative and far reaching partnerships between the public and private spheres. GEMS Education works for education as a force for development, for individual realization, for tolerance and dialogue and indeed as a basic human right.”
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 Millennium Development Goals, including the need for access to quality education. The private education sector brings unique advantages in education that can complement the work of the non-profit sector.
The Founder of the Varkey GEMS Foundation and Chairman of GEMS Education, Sunny Varkey said at the launch of the initiative, “I believe the private sector can work with NGO’s and Governments, powerfully, to provide more education to those less fortunate. The fact that 67 million children around the world have no access to education is intolerable. Education is the most important issue in the world today. For us to confront, collectively, some of the world’s biggest challenges such as poverty, conflict, prejudice and intolerance we need to lift the standards of education worldwide.”
Earlier this year GEMS Education announced it will build its first international school in Kenya, in Nairobi and is set to be the region’s leading educational institution. It marks GEMS’ first entry into Africa.
GEMS Education has over 10,000 employees including a team of world renowned educators who have excelled in education reform, curriculum development and teaching and learning practices.
GEMS is also the first education company in the world to partner with UNESCO to improve teacher training.
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, was founded on 16 November 1945. UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities.
About the Varkey GEMS Foundation:
The Varkey GEMS Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of GEMS Education, the world’s largest K – 12 provider of international education.
The Varkey GEMS Foundation provides education scholarships. It also provides leadership development, teacher effectiveness and professional development courses to improve the skills and knowledge of teachers and school leaders.
The Foundation also offers strategic input and consultancy to the benefit of its NGO partners and places a special emphasis on campaigning on issues of relevance related to promoting education globally.
The Varkey GEMS Foundation is chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and works in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, UNESCO, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Dubai Cares and Pratham India.
About GEMS Education:
GEMS Education has a global network of world class international schools. With 50 years of experience in education, GEMS provides high quality holistic education to over 100,000 students from 140 countries.
It employs over 10,000 education professionals, specialists and staff from around the world. The GEMS approach to learning focuses not only on academic excellence, but also in helping students develop their character and creativity so that they achieve their full potential as human beings.
The GEMS Education school model is unique in the world because it offers a broad range of curricula across a range of tuition fees making private education more accessible to the broader community. GEMS Education also supports Governments’ education reform agenda by working with Ministries of Education to lift school performance and improve the standards and expertise of government schools across the globe.
GEMS Education has offices in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, India and Singapore.
Source: Ogilvy Africa Media – Ghana/Peacefmonline
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