Unesco to nominate new Goodwill Ambassador
Paris, April 26, 2012
Unesco director-general Irina Bokova will nominate philanthropist, educator and entrepreneur, Sunny Varkey, as a Goodwill Ambassador for Education Partnerships today (April 26).
A special ceremony will be held to mark the occasion at the organisation’s Paris headquarters, a statement from Unesco said.
Founder and chairman of Gems Education, an international education provider, Varkey will be recognised for “his contribution to forging innovative public-private partnerships to ensure that underprivileged children across the world receive a good quality education”.
Varkey is the son of Indian expatriates who moved to Dubai in 1959. His ambitions were shaped by the personal commitments of his parents, who founded their first school in 1968.
He took over the management of the school in 1980 and transformed the family-run institution into a multinational company. Today, Gems Education educates more than 100,000 students who represent more than 150 nationalities.
By uniting parents, educators and governments under the cause of equal opportunity to schooling, he not only influenced teaching methods, but also helped to provide greater access to education, especially in Africa.
An on-going collaboration between Unesco and Gems Education is training more than 10,000 school principals in Kenya, Ghana and India, while yet another programme is helping to improve Stem (science, technology, engineer and maths) education in Lesotho and Kenya.
Gems Education operates in the public and private sectors through a not-for-profit group, the Varkey Gems Foundation.
Founded in 2010 and chaired by former US President Bill Clinton, it promises to help 100 underprivileged children for every student enrolled at a Gems school. – TradeArabia News Service
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