March 22, 2017

Teach For All Participates in Global Education and Skills Forum

From March 18-19, representatives from across the Teach For All network took part in the 2017 Global Education Skills Forum (GESF) held in Dubai. Hosted by the Varkey Foundation, GESF is an annual event that convenes global leaders in the public, private, and social sectors to discuss the most prevalent challenges facing education and to honor teachers from countries around the world through the Global Teacher Prize.  

Teach For Ghana CEO Daniel Dotse was joined by James Kassaga Arinaitwe, Co-founder of Teach For Uganda—an organization currently working towards partnership in the Teach For All network—in a “Shark Tank” style pitch session where they put forward their ideas on scalable education development to a panel of education policy makers and business leaders who act as investors. Daniel highlighted the importance of sharing learned lessons across the African continent and why doing so will have a greater impact than individual organizations working on their own. He illustrated the progress Teach For Ghana has made so far and what he is learning locally and globally from the Teach For All network. Kassaga shared what he has learned from Teach For Ghana and how Teach For All’s approach can be adapted to the Ugandan context. Both explained how their organization aims to develop a pipeline of leaders in both public and private sector institutions to effect sustainable change in their countries, and the region.

Teach For Uganda was also selected as a recipient of the Varkey Foundation Challenge Fund grant. The grant, which supports early stage education initiatives that promise to make significant sustainable impact, will help Teach For Uganda advance its programmatic timeline and launch its recruitment process. The organization aims to place its first cohort of Fellows in high-need schools and communities in Uganda in 2018.

Teach For All CEO and Co-founder Wendy Kopp presented a policy proposal to an international panel, arguing that education policies should reflect the need to invest in the development of collective leadership—leadership that is working collaboratively, informed by both local needs and opportunities and successful ideas and innovations from other contexts. “My proposal is that in any given community, a local leader—such as a city director, school system leader, or respected community leader—should convene the community of students, parents, educators, and other stakeholders to create a shared vision for children,” she asserted, “one that is rooted in a deep understanding of local context and culture, values and aspirations and that at the same time is informed by a global understanding of what the world will require of today’s students.” The panel, composed of former and current education ministers, voted in support of the proposal.

Wendy also took part in a “Meet the Mentor” session with Teach First (UK) CEO and Teach For All Co-founder Brett Wigdortz. The discussion highlighted both the impact alumni of Teach For All network partners are having in their countries—such as Teach First Ambassadors’ sustained efforts in communities across the UK—and the incredible potential of the growing network of alumni around the world.

Teach For All also joined the Public-Private Partnership Alliance launched at the Forum this year. Like the Girls’ Education Alliance and the Teachers Alliance that network representatives joined last year, these global forums bring together 10-15 experts from the realms of business, academia, and government to hold a series of meetings throughout the year to produce actionable recommendations related to each area. We look forward to collaborating on the learning and recommendations of this new alliance in the months ahead. 

Read the report and recommendations produced by the Girls’ Education Alliance and the Teachers Alliance in 2017.

Learn about Teach For All’s participation in last year’s GESF.