UNESCO and Varkey GEMS Foundation Announce Program to Train 10,000 School Principals at Clinton Global Initiative

Sep 25, 2011, 01:04 ET from GEMS Education

Training 10,000 principals will impact 10 million children

NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Varkey GEMS Foundation, a not-for-profit education organization and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), have announced the largest school Principals training program involving a private Foundation in UNESCO's history. The '10,000 Principals Leadership Program' was announced by President Clinton as a 'commitment to action' at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York today.

President Bill Clinton is the honorary Chair of the Varkey GEMS Foundation. It is supported by GEMS Education, the world's largest kindergarten to grade 12 private education provider.

The first phase of the program will involve Kenya, Ghana and India. 10,000 school principals will be trained over four years. School Principals in many developing countries receive little, if any, leadership and development training. This initiative will improve the skills of those school leaders and the multiplier effect will benefit thousands of teachers and up to 10 million children.

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 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 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 intergovernmental organizations, 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."  

SOURCE GEMS Education



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