Global Education and Skills Forum

The current generation of young people is special – they are born as “true global citizens”: Sunny Varkey

Dr Sanjay Parva
The current generation of young people is special – they are born as “true global citizens”: Sunny Varkey

The Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) will see Oscars of Education (Global Teacher Prize) being awarded today, the second day of the event instituted by Varkey Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children throughout the world.

As the event started yesterday, the delegates, the participants, and who's who of education industry were witness to a host of exciting events. Welcome and opening addresses were given by  Vikas Pota, CEO, Varkey Foundation; Sunny Varkey, Chairmen, Varkey Foundation; H.E. Liborio Stellino, Ambassador, Embassy of Italy; Tariq Al Gurg, CEO, Dubai Cares; Andreas Schleicher, Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD; Sadhguru J. Vasudev , Founder, Isha Foundation;  Karen Giles, Head Teacher, Barham Primary School. Mr Sunny Varkey opened the forum by emphasising that the current generation of young people is special – they are born as “true global citizens”.

One of the interesting insights at GESF was a renowned Chinese psychologist stressing the need to highlight respect for teachers. She said Western cultures had to learn this from how China does it. The psychologist, who is also a teacher, Yang Boya, said "in China, we really respect our teacher or lecturer, we never challenge her or him, I think in this respect my country can be role model for others."

Yang Boya remarked that while being technologically aware was good for students, only technology and no social contact can be disadvantageous. “IT can support a teacher's work but not replace him”, Boya said.

A top education expert, Andreas Schleicher, said that children should be taught to apply critical mind to separate fake from real when they read anything on internet. "This", he stated, "was very important in the current digital age".

World Bank representative Harry Patrinos urged the need for investment of more funds in primary school education and stated that the focus must be on reading skills. He was critical of high investment in higher education and stagnation of funds in basic education.

Sadhguru, mystic, yogi and bestselling author; New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman and Irina Bokova, Director-general of UNESCO were some popular names who spearheaded the sessions.

Among a sea of educators, teachers, and celebrities ScooNews has had its own feather in the cap being the only education media covering the events, taking interviews with top education fraternity, hearing them speak and getting heard. We will be pleased to bring you all of it in our April issue.

For a detailed coverage of Day 1, visit https://blog.educationandskillsforum.org/gesf2017-live-blog-day-1/

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