UNESCO and MBI Al Jaber Foundation Join Forces for Education in Yemen
With the aim to support the transition in Yemen through strengthening the education system, the Director-General signed an agreement with Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, founder and chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, on 7 February 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters.
“This is a cornerstone of reform in Yemen,” said Sheikh Al Jaber, who indicated that the $1 million funding marked a first step in a drive to make education a central feature of donor support to the country, where a Government of National Unity was formed in December 2011.
The project will facilitate policy dialogue and provide advice and technical support to the Government in its ambition to develop a National Education Vision through a comprehensive sector-wide approach. As part of this, the project will also assist in the reform of technical and vocational education and training to meet the aspirations of youth and make the system more relevant to labour market needs. Nearly half of Yemen’s 23 million inhabitants are under the age of 15, and 50% of the population lives in poverty. Despite significant progress towards universal primary education and gender parity, the overall quality of education and learning outcomes are weak.
“This is the right time and the right place to start,” said the Director-General. “By accompanying the government in building a strong education system, we are investing in the country’s future peace and stability.” Mr Al Jaber also shared his ambition to launch a large scholarship programme in order to build the future leadership of the country.