Dubai: A lack of quality education is one of the greatest challenges facing the Arab world, Minister of State Reem Al Hashemi said on Monday night.
Her comments came during the official launch of a Ramadan campaign by Dubai Cares, ‘We can teach each other’, of which she is the chairperson.
The occasion was also dedicated to a talk on the subject of ‘Empowerment Through Education’.
In a moving speech, Reem, who is also the chairperson of Dubai Cares, said children in developing countries, including in the Arab World, need quality schooling to rise above poverty. “It is where the greatest challenge lies but also where the greatest opportunity lies,” she told the gathering at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre.
She added: “In the UAE, education has been made the number one priority. You all know how powerful our leadership is on education. We’re trying to do that in other parts of the world. The power of partnership is unbreakable,” she added.
Dubai Cares is a UAE-based philanthropic organisation working to improve children’s access to quality education in developing countries. It reaches 13 million beneficiaries in 39 countries around the world, which would “not have been possible without your support”, said Dubai Cares CEO Tareq Al Gurg. Dubai Cares was established in 2007 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Al Gurg said Monday’s event and the Ramadan campaign would help put in perspective the “gravity of the education crisis … Indeed, nations change because of their education. If there’s no education, there’s no economy.”
Around the world, some 58 million children don’t go to school and a further 250 million primary school-age children globally are still not able to read, write or count adequately, according to Dubai Cares.
At the event, Chernor Bah, former chairperson of the Youth Advocacy Group for the UN Global Education First Initiative, said only schooling — and his mother’s emphasis on education — pulled him out of a life resigned to slums, conflicts and refugee camps.
His talk was followed by a presentation by Jim Ziolkowski, founder and CEO of Buildon, who narrated the partnerships forged with Dubai Cares that led to the building of dozens of schools.
“People think these children don’t matter — they are wrong. These children can change the world but not until they get a school … This is what you [Dubai Cares, its partners and supporters] have been doing and I’m so grateful for it,” Ziolkowski said. –End-
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