UK prime minister Gordon Brown
More than 200 delegates including former UK prime minister Gordon Brown along with business leaders and notable academics will participate in the two-day Transforming Education Summit
(TES) that opens Tuesday at the Emirates Palace Hotel.
The event's findings are expected to help effect change in the participating countries. The biennial summit is organised by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and held under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces and chairman of Adec.
"The aim of TES is to address how educational change can be implemented across sectors in societies around the world…the UAE, like its partners in the GCC, seeks to reap a ‘demographic dividend' if transformations in education are properly implemented," said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Adec's director-general.
He was speaking at a press conference last month to announce the summit.
"Given that 65 per cent of the population is under 25 years of age, Adec has a mandate to maximise the potential of young people in Abu Dhabi and empower them to be part of their society's remarkable growth," he added.
Among other topics to be discussed at the inaugural event are what society needs from the educational sector as well as the most effective methods of developing a sustainable education plan. Also to be discussed is how to involve various sectors that may be employing graduates.
"According to our studies, one in four young people is currently unemployed in the Middle East, which is double the global unemployment rate. Among the reasons for this is the lower level educational quality being offered in the region," said Richard Shediac, a panellist and senior vice-president at Booz & Company.
Adec will also host a summit in the emirate to discuss these findings later in the year with various educational stakeholders, including school representatives and parents.