As many nations face the dilemma of putting students back to school and ensuring the continuity of their education, the UAE’s commitment to opening schools in September, while prioritising the best interests of students, teachers and education providers, serves as a global model for efficient delivery, said Sunny Varkey, the Founder and Executive Chairman of GEMS Education.
GEMS Education has hired 800 new teachers, who will join the Group’s 7,500 educators for the new academic year. “I am immensely proud of my team of educators who demonstrated their excellence in managing the remote learning sessions during the previous academic term. Now, an additional 800 new teachers, drawn from across the world, are arriving to the UAE to join us in delivering our vision of providing high-quality education for all.”
“The education sector is an important driver of the national economy,” said the GEMS Chairman. “It has helped build the foundations of a robust and diversified economy in addition to creating jobs and supporting ancillary industries, which contribute significant value to the GDP. The high quality of private K-12 education has been a great enabler in positioning the UAE as a very attractive destination for global talent.”
The consistent focus of the UAE on high-quality education is matched by its impressive accomplishments, said Mr. Varkey. “The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) are global benchmarks on the performance of the education sector. The UAE’s private schools are already among those in the top 15-20 nations in the world in this regard, and GEMS Education is among top eight school systems in the world.”
Even while government regulators and educators in other countries are debating the right course of action regarding school reopening, the UAE has taken decisive measures, he said. “The decision to open schools in September is laudable and truly visionary, and I congratulate the UAE leadership for their tireless efforts in managing the COVID-19 situation efficiently. At GEMS Education, we are in full readiness to ensure the provision of education – face-to-face and blended – based on the final directives of the Ministry of Education and the regulators including KHDA.”
“COVID-19 has fundamentally transformed how we work and live, not to mention, how we teach our young people to acquire skills relevant to the future,” he said. “It is important to focus on their seamless return to schools, given the immediate impact of the crisis on working parents who need to balance their jobs with their children’s education.”
During the height of the COVID-19 crisis, GEMS Education, which serves over 124,000 students in nearly 50 schools in the UAE that offer five different curricula, not only ensured uninterrupted online learning but also extended support to GEMS families.
“The GEMS Education COVID-19 relief package aided the families of almost 30,000 students, who benefited from 30 to 100 per cent fee discounts. Our commitment is to continue strengthening the education sector of the country, and in building a new generation of global citizens who will contribute to shaping a better future for the world,” concluded the GEMS Chairman.