The Varkey Foundation is a nonprofit organization meant to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children around the world. Through building teacher capacity and advocacy campaigns, the Varkey Foundation is able to accomplish this goal.
The foundation started with Sunny Varkey, an education entrepreneur who believes that education “plays a key role in reducing conflict, prejudice, poverty and intolerance around the world.” Through the Varkey Foundation, programs geared toward improving classroom instruction, teacher appreciation and the advocation for improved global education have helped the world greatly.
The following are descriptions of the Varkey Foundation’s various campaigns and programs:
- Instructional Leader Program
The Instructional Leader Program is a low-cost teacher training program that addresses the issue of teacher quality. This program consists of a five day, face-to-face course aimed at school administration and principals in order to improve teacher quality within schools. The Varkey Foundation also has training courses for tutors. It has established satellite schools to continue professional development and Saturday workshops based on school needs.
- Making Ghanaian Girls Great!
Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed) is an interactive distance-learning program—the first of its kind in Ghana. Through the use of technology and multimedia content, MGCubed is able to deliver quality teaching to over five thousand students throughout Ghana. This program uses solar powered computers and projectors to broadcast lessons to connected classrooms across Ghana. Through MGCubed, the quality of education increases and girls also have access to an after-school program specifically geared toward gender studies.
- Varkey Teacher Ambassadors
Varkey Teacher Ambassadors are role models who promote great practices in education and are leaders in developing learning techniques. These teachers are known to go above and beyond for their students’ education for the best possible future. The teachers who become ambassadors are given the opportunity to share and promote their projects to larger audiences online or at the Global Education and Skills Forum.
- Global Teacher Prize
The Global Teacher Prize is a $1 million prize that is annually given to a teacher that has made an extraordinary contribution to their profession. The purpose of this prize acknowledges that teachers should be recognized and celebrated for their efforts. Not only does this prize reflect the impact of the teacher on their students, but also their effort put forth in bettering the community. Through the recognition of hard working teachers, education can improve, thus improving social, political, health and economic issues throughout the world.
- Global Education and Skills Forum
The purpose of the Global Education and Skills Forum is to address the challenges of education and how to improve them. This forum brings together world leaders from public, social and private sectors to seek solutions for these issues. The forum emphasizes the question, “How do we get there together?” In other words, the event is meant to bring focus to how leaders can take these solutions, implement them and make sure they benefit everyone. The forum lasts two days, where more than 2,000 delegates share and debate new ways to transform education to best benefit the world.
The Varkey Foundation focuses intently on education and leaders within education in order to improve students and communities around the world. The Varkey Foundation’s programs and campaigns continue to focus on the best possible solution, as well as acknowledging teachers in all their efforts.
– Rebekah Covey