Indian-origin entrepreneur launches new global education fund


 An Indian-origin entrepreneur in the UAE today launched a new USD 200,000 fund to support education projects around the world by providing good teachers and quality education to every child including refugees.

Kerala-born Sunny Varkey, 59, a Dubai-based education philanthropist, launched the Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund here at the two-day Global Education and Skills Forum 2016.

The first allocations of the fund will go for projects in the Middle East, China, Ghana and Ukraine, Varkey said.

“The Challenge Fund looks to support early-stage initiatives which build the capacity of teachers and to strengthen the status of the teaching profession. As with the Global Teacher Prize, it is part of the Varkey Foundation’s vision of providing every child with a good teacher and a quality education,” Varkey said.

Jusoor, one of the recipients of the fund, develops educational programmes to meet the needs of Syrian children in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt through establishing training for educators involved in emergency education and sharing expertise with teachers globally.

As refugees continue to move around the world, the fund will enable them to receive education.

“We are honoured to have been awarded a grant from the Varkey Foundation’s Challenge Fund to implement a programme that will improve delivery of emergency education to Syrian refugee children in the Middle East,” Director of Jusoor Maya Alkateb-Chami said.

“This collaboration will develop responsive and resilient educational programmes by providing much-needed teacher training and a space for collaboration and exchange of expertise in the area of non-formal education,” Maya said.

The other programmes to receive grants include Teach For Ghana which recruits Ghana’s most promising university graduates and young professionals from varied disciplines to teach in under-served rural communities through a two-year fellowship, Bridging Education And Mobility which aims to launch a new teacher development network in China.

It will induct 1,000 teachers per month by 2017, targeting the learning outcomes of the 175 million rural Chinese children and Centre for Innovative Education Pro.

Svit, a programme contributing to educational reform in Ukraine by helping teachers make the learning experience more effective.

The grants, worth around USD 50,000 each, will be implemented from April this year spread across a maximum of two years.

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