Working together for the betterment of education for all…

The Varkey Foundation has over the past many years worked in sub-saharan Africa and Latin America on designing, delivering and funding various capacity building programmes for teachers and school leaders. This is vital work if we are to strengthen public education systems and achieve the sustainable development goals.

Our increasing interests are in a number of thematic areas such as global citizenship education, technology for development and girls education.

We have built strong networks that we want to share along with our experiences and insights.

I am delighted to share with you that the UCL Institute of Education appointed me as a Honorary Lecturer recently. This is an opportunity to both contribute to the work of a world class institution, and give them key insights into ours.

We need more people working in these areas and I believe this is a way to achieve that.

Building capacity in these areas requires a focus on policy.

For this reason, I’m also pleased to share that the Centre for Science & Policy at Cambridge University have elected me to their Policy Leaders Fellowship, along with Permanent Secretaries and Directors-General from Whitehall and Brussels. If we are to move the needle on many issues connected with education, we stand a better chance of doing so by understanding the diverse range of issues from different perspectives. By bringing together academic researchers, senior civil servants, and leaders from the voluntary and private sector to share best practice and deep-dive on key policy areas, I am sure we will, all, gain immensely in our knowledge and understanding on key issues.

I am grateful to both universities for these opportunities, as well as Harvard Graduate School of Education for appointing me as a Visiting Practitioner last year.

I am confident that working with these great institutions, we stand a better chance of achieving our mission of ensuring each and every child has a more prosperous future.

Appointment as Visiting Practitioner at Harvard

 

The Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) is renowned for its belief that research-based education policy and practice have the power to create a more just and prosperous society. For nearly 100 years, they have prepared smart and passionate individuals to become transformative leaders in education. I have been fortunate to have collaborated with them over the past few years on projects as well as assessing the impact of the Varkey Foundation’s work. .

For example, many of you will have recently seen the work Professor Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education, and I worked on to develop a programme to channel the knowledge and experience of the Top 50 teachers from our Global Teacher Prize initiative to benefit those in the profession who want to develop their own thinking and practice.

A few weeks ago, at the Global Education & Skills Forum we also launched an Alliance on Teachers, which brings together some of the foremost international thinkers and practitioners into a working group that is committed to writing a White Paper on the future of the teaching profession.

This year, I am honoured to be appointed as a Visiting Practitioner in Education at HGSE and am excited about sharing my experiences with the faculty and students at the school to build upon our goals to build a better world.

Following the appointment, Professor Reimers said: “We welcome Vikas Pota to the Harvard community, and look forward to exchanging ideas that have profound long-term impact on education systems through building the capacity of the teaching profession.

“Vikas’s experience in education reform projects globally, as well as his knowledge and networks, will undoubtably be a valuable resource to us. We look forward to providing opportunities for our students to interact with Mr Pota to aid their own development as professionals seeking to strengthen public education systems.”

I look forward to visiting Cambridge regularly and, especially, in providing the benefit of our experience to the student community at the school.