Global Education & Skills Forum 2017

Each year the Global Education & Skills Forum brings together world leaders from the public, private and social sectors seeking solutions to achieving education, equity and employment for all.
Over two days, 1,600 delegates at the Global Education & Skills Forum share, debate and shape new ways for education to transform our world.
An initiative of the Varkey Foundation, the Global Education & Skills Forum is an essential platform for collaboration and problem solving – taking ‘how it should be’ forward into innovative, multi-stakeholder ‘how do we get there?’

2017’s Global Education & Skills Forum took place on 18th & 19th March 2017 at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Wow… What a weekend to behold, back in my home from home Dubai to celebrate being an Educator in the biggest way. I was fortunate enough to attend the Global Education & Skills Conference, hosted by The Varkey Foundation. At the awards ceremony for the global teacher prize, hailed as the the Oscars of teaching awards. The audience were serenaded by the powerful and yet completely serene voice of Andrea Bottecelli, before Bear Grylls casually choppering himself in to deliver the Global Teacher Prize, as HRH Sheikh Mohammed to present the Global Teacher Prize to this year’s winner Maggie McDonnell. Following this video link up’s to Prince Harry, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Kenyan all of whom had one central message to deliver that teachers are the life force of society, and have the the task of unlocking the key to which our global futures prosperity depends. It was refreshing to see that many other countries are now following in the footsteps of the example set forth by HRH Sheikh Mohammed and Sunny Varkey and are recognizing teachers for their commitment to their craft.

Like-minded educators, policy makers gathered from all corners of the world to discuss some of today’s most pressing issues. It was refreshing to be amongst and meet and speak with all who are clearly committed to raising the profile of education and are spearheading this dynamic movement. Animated sessions from Oon Seng Tan on ‘How Singapores World Class Education System Prepares and Develops Teachers’.I could not help but be enthused by Prof Oon Seng’s manner as he stated ‘ The Teacher is not the teacher of the subject, but the teacher of the learner’. Which supports my very own education philosophy which is how I as an educator can be the best allies to their students, their dreams, goals and desires, and create multiple systems creating an eco-system around each individual learner that allows them to learn on purpose.

Eloquently spoken Youth Minister Shamma bin Faris Al Mazrui addressing the crowd on the aspirations of the youth.

I experienced two very engaging conversations, one with Michael Wamaya Global Teacher Prize 2017 Top 10 Finalist from Kenya, we spoke about Dance as international language and the value of empowering each child through their own physical literacy, and how Dance has an art form, the power to create Peace. Fascinating conversation with Education, Culture & Sport Minister from Samoa Loau Solamalemalo around the talent gap in the pacific islands and the role that high level professionals from all fields have in bringing their skills to the youth. The role of Sport in teaching GRIT and of course Rugby League Banter around Inga The Winger. It was incredible to see students taking a role in the forum. IBDP students discussing the importance of Education Technology in the classroom with reference to the new IB Blended Curriculum. Whilst Middle School students lined the red carpet to cheer on students attending the evening event, chanting at the top of their lungs “TeachersMatter”. Every element of this forum had been thought about from start to finish and it has been delightful to meet so many passionate, creative and hard working individuals all of whom were putting Education at the top of the agenda.