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Mohammed bin Rashid meets Bill Clinton at Global Education Forum in Dubai

posted on 17/03/2014: 2922 views



His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attended the second annual Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) on Sunday at the Dubai JW Marriott Marquise Hotel.

The session was also attended by Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, and other senior officials.

Shaikh Mohammad welcomed former US president Bill Clinton on the sidelines of the forum and praised the educational initiatives of Varkey GEMS, noting the generous donation made by its founder, Sunny Varkey, to Dubai Cares in support of its educational projects and programmes.

He said the forum, launched at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, is a platform for dialogue and debate among experts and decision-makers in education in order to reach practical solutions, along with the possibility of providing resources and logistics to achieve the forum's objectives of engaging the private sector in the development of education.

Former US president Bill Clinton, Chairman of the Bill Clinton Foundation, in his opening speech, praised the vision of Shaikh Mohammad on the future of education in the country. He noted the initiatives of Shaikh Mohammad in transforming education to the smart model and focusing on techniques and methods to bring educational outcomes on a par with world-class standards.

Clinton also praised the contributions of Dubai Cares in spreading education in underdeveloped countries and opening many schools there in an effort to provide education for more than one million children at the primary education level.

When it comes to improving education, teachers matter most, said Clinton. "A study from the US found that having one good teacher, for only one year, can have a dramatic impact on students for a lifetime,” he said.

Clinton is Honorary Chairman of the Varkey GEMS Foundation which he praised for highlighting the problems of education, especially in Third World countries. He lauded the Foundation in encouraging the private sector in these countries to contribute actively to the development of education and provide opportunities for millions of disadvantaged children all over the world, especially in the African continent. The forum, he hoped, will result in more cooperation between the public and private sector. The importance of such cooperation, he said, will result in growth. "Every US$1 (Dh3.67) invested in education provides US$53 in benefits to employees.”

Clinton referred to a study (in the US) conducted among 1,000 chief executive officers which found that 30 per cent of them had constraints when it came to investing in the fields they were interested in, which caused them not to pursue their plans.

"So, much needs to be done that no single government can do alone, but that cannot be an excuse to not do what we know works.”

Speaking on the importance of access to education, especially in poor countries, Clinton said there are 100 million children who don't go to school.

"Another 200 million do go to school but have unqualified teachers and low-quality education.”

The former president also stressed the importance of equal education opportunities for girls because it has been proven that girls who continue their education marry later and have fewer children and have a higher life expectancy.

Another problem he focused on was education access for minorities which includes people with disabilities, immigrants and refugees.

Before Clinton took to the stage, his wife, Hillary Clinton, addressed the forum's audience via video saying, "You have a choice to put education in the reach of every young man and women across the world.”

More than 1,100 delegates from 65 countries attended the conference in Dubai that concludes today. – Gulf News —with inputs from WAM – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/mohammad-meets-bill-clinton-at-global-education-forum-in-dubai-1.1304782

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