Press release: Education Project Launches to Provide Practical Solutions for Global Education

Global Education Experts to Speak at Inaugural Event in Bahrain –

 A new annual event designed to improve the quality of education across the world, from pre-school to higher education, will launch this October in Bahrain. The Education Project aims to identify practical solutions and gain commitment from educational professionals to put them in place.   

 Despite the priority that governments worldwide have placed on education, and the huge investments made, concrete outcomes and significant improvements remain elusive.  The Education Project will seek to address this by: 

·         Showcasing case studies of innovation and success – with a focus on projects that have already succeeded in one area and have been successfully adapted for another

·         Matching potential donors with projects seeking funding to enable real outcomes

·         Outlining a global plan for improving education with clear actions  and deliverables

 The key aim of The Education Project is that delegates leave equipped with the information and insights, and more importantly, with the commitments, partnerships and backing they need to enable them to make real changes.

 The inaugural Education Project will take place from 15 – 17th October in Bahrain’s capital Manama.   The event will comprise a series of plenary sessions and practical workshops.  Confirmed speakers include: 

·         Tony Wagner, Co-Director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and member of the faculty of the Executive Leadership Program for Educators – a joint initiative of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Business School, and Kennedy School of Government

·         David Wick, Chief Development Officer, KIPP

·         Andreas Schleicher, Head, Indicators and Analysis Division, OECD Directorate for Education

·         Professor Sheila Kamerman, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor of Social Work;
Co-Director, Institute for Child and Family Policy, Columbia University

·         Professor S. Gopinathan, Associate Dean, Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore

·         Professor Ralph Tabberer CB, Chief Schools Officer, GEMS

·         Dr. Mona Mourshed, Partner, McKinsey & Company Middle East – head of the education practice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

·         Bahram Bekhradnia, Director, Higher Education Policy Institute, UK

 “It is barely ten years since small groups of highly-motivated academics and scientists had to get together in small groups, alone and unheard, to call for greater interest in global warming and green solutions,” said Professor Ralph Tabberer, Chief Schools Officer, GEMS, one of the keynote speakers. “Now, there is no world leader who dares ignore the issues. We need to make the same transformation in our thinking about education. Let us debate not just where education needs to go, but how we put this top of the agenda for every government, worldwide.”

 “Even our ‘best’ schools are failing to prepare students for 21st-century careers and citizenship,” said Tony Wagner, Co-Director of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  “It’s time to hold ourselves and all of our students to a new and higher standard of rigour, defined according to 21st-century criteria. It’s time for the teaching profession to advocate for accountability systems that will enable us to teach and test the skills that matter most. Our students’ futures are at stake.”

 The Education Project was initiated by H.H. Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, The Crown Prince of Bahrain and Chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

  “Sustainable economic growth that provides opportunity for all is only achievable with the right education system in place,” said Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board. “That means education is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today.  Different countries face different challenges but many of the issues are common.  Bahrain has a strong track record in education and much to share with the world.  But we have much to learn too.  Our goal in establishing the Education Project is not only to share best practice but to create a practical road map that educators around the world can follow in order to improve outcomes.” 

 Bahrain has long had a successful track record in education – it was the first country in Middle East to introduce universal education for men and women (over 70 years ago).  It is now working to reform its education system to meet the economic and social challenges of the 21st century by supporting growth and development, and ultimately, providing greater opportunity for all Bahrainis.

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