NEW YORK--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--To improve access, drive growth and implement successful measurement in education systems globally, Sunny Varkey, Founder and Group Chairman of GEMS Education, is working with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to support the launch of a new approach to improving education assessment and strategies in low- and middle-income countries.
“As Mr. Varkey, along with GEMS, believes in the power of education to reduce poverty, prejudice and conflict around the world, his support for the OECD’s work is a key growth component in achieving a collaborative mission to improve the quality of learning communities, especially in developing countries.”
The new assessment program, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) for Development, or PISA-D, was developed by the OECD and its partners to enable greater PISA participation by low-income and middle-income countries in support of the United Nation’s Education 2030 Project. PISA is an international survey occurring every three years, which evaluates education systems worldwide by testing 15-year-old students in science, reading and mathematics. Eight countries are participating in the project, including Cambodia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Senegal and Zambia.
Though this work, Mr. Varkey serves as an expert advisor to the OECD and The Education 2030 Project, a multi-year collaboration of the world's leading countries to advance the development of modern education systems. With the support of Mr. Varkey and GEMS Education, PISA-D plays a key role in achieving the project’s education goals to instill in students the values and skills necessary to be successful in the world by 2030. Mr. Varkey is also donating Windows 1:1 devices to six of the eight countries to enable researchers to test students’ skills at home using a Windows-based application.
“Global citizenship is an integral component of the curriculums we develop at GEMS Education, allowing our students develop a better understanding of global development issues and the impact they can have in our world,” said Mr. Varkey. “I’m proud to work alongside the OECD, as this work supports our mission to improve access to quality education for all – and that for every child enrolled at a GEMS school, we impact the lives of 100 underprivileged children in our world.”
Implemented over 48 months, results from PISA-D will contribute to the OECD’s support for the achievement of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG) for education that focus on access, quality and equity in the classroom by engaging more countries globally about adequate learning opportunities. The most recently published results are from the 2012 PISA assessment, and on Dec. 6, 2016, the results from PISA's 2015 round of testing in 72 countries and economies will be released. For the 2018 assessment, the first round of testing will take place from the end of this year through March 2017.
Mr. Varkey is also the founder of the Varkey Foundation, a non-profit organization that builds new classrooms and centers of learning, addresses global teaching capacity and seeds excellence and innovation in the next generation of educators. Along with GEMS Education, Mr. Varkey partners with organizations and international agencies that share a commitment to promoting access to quality education for children across the globe. Other supporting partners for the PISA-D project include the participating countries and international contractors, a number of development agencies, including Positivo BGH, as well as support from the World Bank, UNESCO and UNICEF.
“We are facing a global challenge to define education indicators at all school levels, and the PISA-D project is addressing this issue head on,” said Denise Gallucci, Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Education – Americas. “As Mr. Varkey, along with GEMS, believes in the power of education to reduce poverty, prejudice and conflict around the world, his support for the OECD’s work is a key growth component in achieving a collaborative mission to improve the quality of learning communities, especially in developing countries.”
With schools across 19 countries including the United States, Dubai, Singapore and Switzerland, GEMS Education is a world leader in cutting-edge education and empowers students through rich learning experiences and the purposeful use of technology to prepare them to be successful life-long learners in an ever-changing global society.
About GEMS Education
Founded in 1959, GEMS Education is the world’s leading education company and through its thought-leadership and network of world-renowned experts, GEMS continues to be at the forefront of PK-12 educational innovation. GEMS has a global network of award-winning international schools spanning four continents, educating more than 250,000 students from 115 countries, and employing 20,000 education professionals. With countless opportunities for interactive studies with their peers around the world, GEMS students expand their knowledge and broaden their experiences with other cultures. This new work with OECD will leverage global interactions at a scale and pace.
About The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
The OECD provides a setting where governments compare policy experience, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and co-ordinate domestic and international policies. It brings together countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world to:
- Support sustainable economic growth
- Boost employment
- Raise living standards
- Maintain financial stability
- Assist member and non-member countries’ economic development
- Contribute to growth in world trade
In today’s globalised economy education is a major driving force for growth and development. The OECD Directorate for Education and Skills focuses on current key challenges facing education systems including how to improve the quality of teachers, teaching and learning in order to provide the knowledge and skills needed in the 21st century.