“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family”, said Kofi Annan.
Development is no longer measured by economic growth, but rather through human development. A key element in measuring human development is knowledge, education and citizen’s capabilities. There is no doubt that education affects access to resources and impacts per capita income. Literacy and educational opportunities can transform societies, and its impact is not limited only to an individual recipient.
The UN has specified quality education as its fourth Sustainable Development Goal.
Natural and man-made disasters impact education enormously through displacement of mass populations, destruction of infrastructures and inaccessibility to educational facilities both by educators and learners.
In response to this basic human right, the UAE launched an international organisation, “Educators without Borders” (EWB) on Thursday July 11th in Geneva.
EWB is mandated to make a positive contribution to the lives of those deprived of education, such as those affected and displaced by conflict, humanitarian crisis and natural disasters.
The EWB is being launched during UAE’s year of tolerance; to provide basic rights to vulnerable groups globally regardless of geography, belief and political stance. The United Arab Emirates is promoting the concept of tolerance as a universal ideal, emphasising tolerance as a universal concept to enforce non-discrimination, encourage dialogue, coexistence and openness to different cultures.
EWB will be working towards empowering children and improving social cohesion through the provision of educational, psychological, behavioural and social services to the most vulnerable groups.
Its primary beneficiaries are children, youth and women through a wide range of quality educational programmes and services. The provision of such programmes protects children, youth and women from being a target for abuse by groups and individuals and provide them with opportunities for a decent, dignified life.
EWB believes that teachers are the cornerstone to quality education and certainly it needs to take into account the varying teachers' needs for their students, based on geography and existing infrastructure.
The educational management system provides training programmes tailored to those needs.
The organisation maintains the sustainability of its human resources through the recruitment of volunteer teachers from across the globe. The volunteers will share and exchange their knowledge with teachers in target communities.
EWB believes in cooperation and partnership with like-minded international organisations. It has built a data-base of current and potential stakeholders. It will organise fundraising campaigns and events to ensure that a lack of financial resources does not hinder the achievement of its worthwhile cause.
Media plays a crucial role in supporting EWB’s cause through publicising its activities, its creation and dissemination of knowledge based on its research and experiences.
Education is a beneficial investment. An educated society has more prospects for development and enlightenment. A skilled workforce is the foundation and the future of every economy.