Dec 14 2011
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President Bill Clinton to be Honorary Chairman of education foundation
Dubai, UAE- December 14, 2011: President Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States was announced as the honorary Chairman of the Varkey GEMS Foundation, at a gala reception last night in Dubai. The Varkey GEMS Foundation is the philanthropic arm of GEMS Education, which is based in Dubai, and is the largest kindergarten to grade 12 private education operators in the world. The Varkey GEMS Foundation is a not for profit education Foundation.
President Clinton said, "Access to education provides the means to lift children out of poverty and that an educated child affects not only the child itself, but his or her family and the wider community. The Varkey GEMS Foundation's commitment will bring this opportunity to millions more children around the world by improving the quality and access to education for those less fortunate. One of the things I have learned travelling the world is that intelligence is evenly distributed but opportunity is not.
"Our ability to solve some of the world's most pressing issues, like poverty, is only possible when the private sector works alongside, and in partnership with, intergovernmental agencies and NGO's and the Varkey GEMS Foundation is an excellent example of that. Recently the Foundation announced a partnership with UNESCO to train 10,000 school Principals in India, Kenya and India,"said President Clinton.
The work of the Foundation would not be possible without the wonderful support from its sponsors; Samsung, Standard Chartered, Mastercard, Saif Belhasa Group of Companies, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Mashreq Bank, ALMOE and Dubai Duty Free. The Foundation would also like to thank Dubai Cares and Ernst and Young for their support.
"By working with international organisations that promote better educational standards, we seek to use our best talent, insight, and intellectual property to make a vital difference to the knowledge, skills and abilities of school leaders and teachers, who make the essential difference in a child's educational journey. We are proud of our association with UNESCO, Dubai Cares, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Pratham in India, and the Clinton Global Initiative," said Mr.Varkey.
GEMS students are taught four core behaviours and one of those is 'World Citizenship' which emphasizes the importance of 'giving' to both the local and global community. The GEMS community has been committed to 'giving' for many years and students, staff and parents have been involved in a wide variety of community based charity initiatives.
Throughout GEMS ' 50 year history, the GEMS community and the Varkey family have raised or contributed tens of millions of dollars for causes that matter most to them. In addition GEMS Education provides subsidies and scholarships to more than 3,000 children in our own network of schools on an annual basis.
Background: The Varkey GEMS Foundation is focused on a number of important initiatives including:
1. BREAKING THE CYCLE OF POVERTY: OUR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME FOR 5,000 children.
The scholarship programme enables children whose parents cannot afford school fees with an opportunity to gain an education. The aim is to raise funds to provide 5,000 children the opportunity of a lifetime in countries where we don't have schools.
2. IMPROVING SCHOOL LEADERSHIP: TRAINING 10,000 SCHOOL PRINCIPLES
Beyond doubt, School leaders and teachers form the single biggest influence on a pupil's attainment in school. In partnership with UNESCO, we are committed to providing 10,000 school principals in Ghana, Kenya, and India with the leadership & management skills they require to ensure their schools are effective in improving educational outcomes.
3.LEARNING RESOURCE CENTRES: REMEDIAL EDUCATION
A third of the world's poor live in India. Our experts have designed a low-cost structure that provides a village with a facility that can be used to provide additional schooling and education using technology and traditional methods to a wide range of village dwellers.
4. A ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS: REBUILDING KIBERA
In partnership with the RailaOdinga Centre in Kenya, we are rebuilding a school in Kibera, which is one of Africa's largest slums. The school has 1000 students, of which almost 40% are orphaned. The school provides free meals, uniforms, and importantly an education to children in its neighbourhood.
5. GIRLS & WOMEN ARE LEVERS FOR CHANGE: TEACHING MATHS, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY WITH UNESCO
The purpose of the project is to improve girls' and women's access and advancement in the learning and teaching of sciences, mathematics and technology. Through the provision of gender-sensitive training for teachers and school principals, this project will enhance the teaching of mathematics, science, and technology using creative pedagogies.
6. GIVING TEACHERS A VOICE: CAMPAIGNING FOR CHANGE
Good teachers make a huge difference. By providing free professional development resources, training, and incentives, we hope to motivate teachers to learn, aspire, and be.
GEMS Education has a global network of world class international schools. With over 50 years of experience in education, GEMS provides high quality holistic education to over 100,000 students from over 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.
© Press Release 2011
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