The vision for the Global Education Initiative was established during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2003. Business leaders of the information technology and telecommunications community launched an initiative to create new sustainable models for education reform in the developing world. Jordan was selected as a pilot country. The Jordan Education Initiative has since grown into a full-scale initiative involving over 50 partners, including 17 global corporations and resulting in over US$ 25 million in resource allocations. In 2005 and 2006, three additional initiatives were launched in: the Palestinian Territories, the Indian state of Rajasthan and Egypt.
As a next step, the GEI will turn to developing and advocating the value propositions, methodologies and best practices on how business, government,civil society and the development community can come together on large-scale, sustainable education initiatives. For that purpose, the Forum’s Global Education Initiative has joined forces with UNESCO to create “Partnerships for Education”, an initiative of the GEI aimed at scaling and replicating the successes of the country initiatives in other countries and regions.
The social benefits of education are extensive and well documented. In addition, the private sector can also gain from a visible and active involvement in partnerships channelled through the GEI, among others, in the following ways:
- Improve the quality and supply of skilled individuals in areas of specific interest to
- contributing organizations
- Strengthen local enterprise capacities and create the right ecosystem to support the development of relevant skills in today’s fast-changing global economy
- Enhance trust among governments, local communities and the private sector
- Achieve greater leverage, outreach and impact for strategic social investment programmes
- Increase interaction and profile with key international development and financial agencies
- Target education of girls to foster rapid social and economic development