• 2 December 2023

Reinforcing its commitment to making education transformation an achievable reality for every country in the world, Dubai Cares, a civil society organization formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN DGC), today unveiled its “Global Education Solutions Accelerator” (GESA) at COP28 UAE. The innovative mechanism will help countries fast-track progress towards 2030, as they work with a robust network of international actors and platforms from within the development and education sectors, to collectively identify and implement solutions that best address their education transformation challenges and ambitions and allow them to leverage rewired education systems as a core enabler for sustainable development.

In its first phase, Dubai Cares and Aga Khan Foundation aim to fast-track education transformation across 10 countries that are part of the Schools2030 program under the leadership of Aga Khan Foundation. These countries include Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Portugal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda that together represent a population of 2.1 billion. The transformation of the existing education systems in these countries would result in significant gains for entire populations, with children and youth reaching their full potential through the right set of values, skills, knowledge and experiences they need to address current challenges and drive social-economic growth within their countries.

H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares,made the announcement as part of his keynote address in a high-level session titled “The Youth and Education Session: The latent force of climate action” held on December 2 during COP28’s World Climate Action Summit in the Blue Zone, in the presence of heads of state and other high-level speakers including, HE Siaosi Sovalen, Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Kingdom of Tonga; Honorable Kausea Natano, Prime Minister of Tuvalu; H.E. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of Education; H.E. Shamma Al Mazrui, COP28 Youth Climate Champion, Ms. Kitty van der Heijden Heijden, Assistant Secretary General, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF; Prof. Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of Global Centre on Adaptation; Mafalda Duarte, Executive Director, Green Climate Fund; and Dr. Andrew Cunningham, Global Lead for Education, Aga Khan Foundation, as a moderator, among others.

Highlighting the urgent gaps that the Accelerator will address, Dr. Al Gurg said: “The Global Education Solutions Accelerator (GESA) is a powerful mechanism that embodies the essence of Dubai Cares’ 16 years of hands-on experience in implementing education programming on the ground, while simultaneously amplifying the global community’s understanding of the issues and gaps that have existed for a very long time. We are confident that the Aga Khan Foundation is the ideal strategic partner for the implementation of such a global initiative which represents a new system of partnerships for rewiring education. GESA will bring the education sector and various stakeholders together, in order to fast-track education transformation in countries, and unlock collective gains that can expedite meaningful outcomes towards a sustainable future for not only learners and teachers, but also the wider communities.”

How does the Accelerator work?

Designed by Dubai Cares, the Accelerator will enable countries to unlock opportunities for achieving national education transformation ambitions, by leveraging the collective expertise and guidance of the diverse membership of the Accelerator. The Accelerator will be led by strategic partners that include multi-lateral organizations, UN agencies, international NGOs, development banks and civil society organizations among others. These entities will offer advice and guidance to countries in line with their national ambitions and job market needs, in order to prepare the next generation with the necessary knowledge and skills to play a pivotal role in steering their economies towards prosperous and sustainable future. 

The Global Education Solutions Accelerator will aim to drive targeted technical support to countries to identify and fast-track flexible and adaptable solutions in line with their own aspirations to be contextualized to their countries’ vision with the goal of enabling systems transformation in significantly shorter time than traditional approaches. This is a powerful mechanism that will actively transform how the global education sector can work together on a global scale by providing participating countries with a more efficient, impactful and timely approach of accelerating progress to 2030, through a whole-of-society ecosystem approach to education transformation.

Michael Kocher, General Manager, Aga Khan Foundation: “As long-standing partners of Dubai Cares, we are excited to be invited as strategic partners for the launch of the Global Education Solutions Accelerator (GESA). We are inspired by GESA’s vision to recognize and catalyze the collective energy and wisdom from the world’s learners, teachers, communities, youth, governments, and civil society organizations to address the most pressing educational challenges of our time through a more inclusive and accelerated approach. Through GESA, and our continued partnership with Dubai Cares, we are ready to co-create new pathways for educational transformation across schools, systems and societies to deliver meaningful results for people and the planet by 2030 and beyond.”

The Accelerator’s support to countries will include working at the systems level alongside governments while focusing on learners, youth, teachers, parents, and communities, through cross-sectoral collaboration and ensuring the alignment of programming, research, and advocacy efforts with their goals.

Further details about the Accelerator will be unveiled at the RewirEd Summit taking place on December 8th within COP28’s Green Zone at the Connect Conference Centre, Expo City Dubai. More than 200 speakers from across sectors will convene at the RewirEd Summit to collectively position education transformation at the heart of climate action.

The Global Center on Adaptation and Dubai Cares announce Partnership at the World Climate Action Summit

During the same event, the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA), Professor Patrick Verkooijen and the Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, announced an institutional partnership to integrate climate adaptation into the education agenda and vice-versa to embed the education agenda into climate adaptation priorities. The announcement follows a visit by Dr. Al Gurg to the GCA Floating Office Rotterdam in June 2023.

Professor Patrick Verkooijen said: “Young people have a critical role to play in transforming our societies to a climate-resilient and low carbon future. Effectively engaging them is critical because they will bear the brunt of adverse climate change impacts, though they have contributed so little to its causes. When young people are given the opportunity to understand climate adaptation, they get it. They grasp the cost of inaction; they see the positive payoffs from taking adaptation action and they engage. It is vital, therefore, to draw their voices into the discussion and educate them to lead on the solutions. We are pleased to work closely with Dubai Cares in this crucial mission, as both our organizations seek to actively contribute to the development of a more resilient global community.”

Dr. Al Gurg said: “Integrating climate adaptation into the education agenda is a key pathway to a sustainable future, as education is the foundation to nurture an empowered generation of children and youth who value, embrace and actively advocate for sustainability. Our partnership with the Global Center on Adaptation is a testament to our commitment to work hand in hand with global stakeholders that can accelerate progress towards our mission of positioning education transformation as a crucial solution for not only climate adaptation, but also climate action."


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