Bill Clinton: education is as important a global issue as health and poverty

Jumeria Burley speaking and Chernor Bah, left, from the GEFI Youth Advocacy Group at the Dubai forum

Education should be a global concern on a par with health, poverty and climate change – that was the message delivered by President Bill Clinton to an international gathering.

He gave the keynote speech to hundreds of world leaders, business leaders, government ministers, education experts and youth advocates at the second annual Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai.

President Clinton said: “Young people who are educated are likely to earn greater incomes, resist conflict and support democracy,.

“A high quality education is profoundly important to get children off to a good start.”

Clinton also said children who had a great teacher for just one year of their education would experience an increase in earning potential for their whole life.

More than 1000 people attended the forum from March 15 to 17. It was organised by UNESCO, the Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates, GEMS Education, the Varkey GEMS Foundation and Dubai Cares, in support of the Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative.

The forum was also attended by education youth advocates including Chernor Bah, chair of the Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group (GEFI-YAG). He spoke in the panel session on providing education in emergency settings.

Chernor said education is a “life and death issue” and gives a sense of “human dignity”. He highlighted the global responsibility of citizens to fight for education, which he argued was as important an issue as health.

He said education is “the vaccine that prevents conflict and prepares us for the future”.

You can read more about the Global Education and Skills Forum here.

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