Monday, January 22, 2018
Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Six new international expert groups were launched today to tackle some of education’s most important challenges, comprising leading thinkers from academia, government and business. They will meet for the first time this weekend at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai.

The GESF Alliances are a network of invitation-only groups that convene and collaborate around key education related subjects with the central purpose of stimulating new dialogue, shaping agendas and driving new initiatives.

The alliances bring together various organisations from developing countries, donors, policy makers, civil society and the private sector. They include UNESCO, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Aga Khan Foundation, the Global Partnership for Education, Malala Fund and Camfed.

The new alliances announced today are:

• Alternative Models for Universities – looking at best practice and pitfalls in international education and research partnerships, including reviewing collaborations between world-renowned universities and existing or startup universities in developing countries;

• New Financing Models for Schools – to provide recommendations to governments looking to engage the private sector to strengthen their education system;

• Post-Conflict and Peace Education – examining innovation and best practice in support for teachers in post-conflict and peace education as they strive to reach the most vulnerable children, such as refugees;

• Global Citizenship – to scope out the knowledge and skills that should encompass global citizenship education, in particular, in countries that lag behind in education targets;

• Climate Change Education – to address the global threat of climate change through quality education;

• Assessment and Impact in Development – to examine strengthening learning assessments to identify whether progress is being made towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The six topics are chosen because of their significance in terms of improving education and global growth. Each alliance is made up of between 8 to 12 experts, and after meeting at the GESF each will convene at later points in the year to draw up ‘White Paper’ recommendations for their areas.

The Varkey Foundation has partnered with the REAL Centre at the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University to oversee the alliance outputs.

Vikas Pota, Chief Executive of the Varkey Foundation said:

“The GESF brings together some of the most forthright thinkers and reformers in education, so it is fitting that these alliances are being established to help address some of today’s most pressing issues.”

Today’s new alliances are the second set of such groups established at GESF. At GESF 2016, three alliances on teachers, girls’ education and innovation were founded.

The Teachers Alliance has produced a report (attached) for this year’s GESF titled ‘A call for leadership in support of teaching quality to empower all students to build the future’. The report urges leaders of governments, NGOs, educators and civic leaders to urgently address seven areas which are critical to significantly improving the quality of education received by most children in school – including building a narrative about teaching quality as a national priority, empowering teachers and developing professional standards of teacher quality.

This year, the Teachers Alliance will examine ways in which we can reduce the 69 million teacher gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring quality education for all.

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