Former education ministers to advise governments on global education challengesMarch 24, 2017, 2:35 pm GMT
Twenty former education ministers and heads of state have formed an expert group to provide advice on global education issues to current government.
The Atlantis Group was launched at the Global Education & Skills Forum 2017, and members include Arne Duncan, former US Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama; former UK Education Secretary Michael Gove; former Greek President George Papandreou; former Lebanese Minister Elias Bou Saab; and former Peruvian Minister and incoming Head of the World Bank Education team Jaime Saveedra.
The Atlantis Group will act as an advisory body to education ministries around the world who are dealing with issues relating to education in their own country, drawing upon the views and experiences of members to provide recommendations.
The founding principle of the group is "to bring together the skills and experiences of former Ministers of Education and interested former Heads of State across the world to help address ongoing challenges in global education."
The group will be advised by Irina Bokova, director general ofUNESCO); Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills, OECD; and Professor Fernando Reimers, Faculty director, international education policy, at Harvard University. The Varkey Foundation will provide the secretariat for the group.
The group will meet at the GESF every year and on at least one other occasion annually. In addition, individual members and small sub-groups may be asked to conduct further work throughout the year – such as visiting countries at the request of education ministries that request advice.Commenting on the initiative, Varkey Foundation CEO Vikas Pota said: "Education is constantly evolving and we can learn from the experiences of the past in terms of what worked, what didn't and how we can use that knowledge to better develop the education systems of the future.
"This it the first time that such a group has been formed and it can have a powerful impact on current global education debates. Members of the group have deep experience, unique perspectives and can speak freely as they're no longer tied to particular Government positions. We look forward to seeing their recommendations."
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