A new expert group of 20 former Education Ministers and Heads of State was launched at the Global Education & Skills Forum (GESF) held at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai.
Named The Atlantis Group, the team has over 65 cumulative years of experience in public office overseeing education systems and has been designed “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.”
Members include Arne Duncan, former US Secretary of Education under President 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.
Chief Executive of the Varkey Foundation, Vikas Pota, said at the event, “this is 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.”
The Atlantis Group will act as an advisory body offering expertise and recommendations to global education ministries.
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.
The group will be advised by Irina Bokova (Director-General, UNESCO); 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, however the NGO has not yet announced who this will be.
Initially, the group will undertake a year-long piece of work considering the issue of the future of education leadership at all levels.