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Platform for Education launched in Dubai

14 February 2017


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A new Platform for Education will meet every year at the World Government Summit to find ways to address a mismatch between the skills taught in schools and those required in the labour market.

A new Platform for Education will meet every year at the World Government Summit to find ways to address a mismatch between the skills taught in schools and those required in the labour market.

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, announced the new initiative on Day Two of the summit, in an address in which he also highlighted the need for investment in early years education.

In the Middle East, one-third of employers complain of a mismatch of required skills in the young people entering the workforce, Kim said, adding that research has shown that those unable to find stable employment were more likely to have protested during the Arab Spring and more likely to have been recruited by Daesh.

“Governments in this region spend 5 per cent of GDP on education, higher than any region in the world. Learning outcomes are still disappointing – all Middle Eastern countries rank below average, with the exception of Dubai.”

He praised the progress in Dubai’s education system: “Dubai has seen significant improvements in maths and science. If the private sector is the engine of growth and government is the driver, education is the fuel that runs the engine.”

He added that investing in early years education was vital to create critical thinkers.

“Opportunities for early learning are still not available to most children – less than a third are enrolled at the pre-primary level, it is mostly the privileged that have access,” he said.

“We need to rethink what we teach and how children learn. This means fully leveraging what we know about the science of learning and the skills children will need to thrive in the future.”