Former President Bill Clinton, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, were among senior world officials who attended the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai on March 15. Shaikh Mohammad personally thanked Clinton for Varkey GEMS Foundation’s significant donation to Dubai Cares to support educational initiatives and programs in developing countries. Clinton is the honorary chairman of Varkey GEMS.
A Gulf News article described the forum events in detail, noting that Clinton expressed praise for Dubai Care’s use of educational opportunities to nearly one million primary school-aged children in economically impoverished countries. Clinton said he admired Shaikh Mohammad’s initiative to modify education to the so-called “smart model,” in addition to creating education outcomes that are equivalent to word-class standards.
Dubai Cares and Varkey GEMS recently partnered to train and develop skilled teachers in developing countries. Clinton described the importance of teachers in any educational pursuit and stated that, under the tutelage of a skilled teacher, children in developing countries can experience a positive interaction which will impact them over their lifetime.
The Gulf News article quoted Clinton as saying, “Every $1 invested in education provides $53 in benefits to employees.” Despite this recent incentive to fund educational opportunities to children around the globe, there still remains close to 100 million children in developing countries without access to educational resources, while another 200 million attend schools that are taught by untrained teachers and lack a quality curriculum, as described by Gulf News.
The importance of collaboration to help make education accessible to all the world’s children was also discussed during the GSEF. The Gulf News article described Clinton acknowledging that, for education to become available in poor countries, both the private and the public sector need to be involved. Clinton stated, “So much needs to be done that no single government can do it alone, but that cannot be an excuse to not do what we know works.”