Sunny Varkey

©Sunny Varkey
Mr. Sunny Varkey, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

Eminent advocate of education, Sunny Varkey was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Education Partnerships in April 2012, in recognition of his contribution to forging innovative public-private partnerships to ensure that underprivileged children across the world receive a good quality education.

As Founder and Executive Chairman of the GEMS Education Group, Sunny Varkey aims to reduce the number of children worldwide who are out of school and advance education for all. Since 2011, UNESCO works jointly with GEMS Education to tackle looming teacher shortages in developing countries.

Through the Varkey Foundation, he promotes excellence in teaching practices through numerous events such as the Global Teacher Prize rewarding annually a teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the teaching profession.

In September 2011, UNESCO and the Varkey GEMS Foundation announced the launch of the “10,000 Principals Leadership Programme”, an ambitious training programme for school principals that is implemented in Kenya, Ghana and India. The initiative aims to provide leadership and professional development courses to improve skills and knowledge of the school principals.

His efforts to promote education for all have been widely recognized, receiving prestigious prizes and distinctions in the United Arab Emirates and in the rest of the world. In 2009, he received the Padmashri Award, one of the highest civilian honors in India.

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