UAE Minister of Tolerance Shaikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan at GESF in Dubai. Shaikh Nahayan said ‘education is vital if civilisation is to persist and prosper.’ Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Education is a main driver of peace in a world divided by ignorance, the UAE Minister of Tolerance told the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai on Sunday.

Shaikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan said in his GESF keynote that education was central to solving global problems, including the disparity between peoples.

190203 Shaikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan
Shaikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

“Recent events around the world have made us conscious of the urgent need to bring hope between peoples and countries. The current state of mistrust and misunderstanding in the world has a great deal to do with ignorance that breeds hostility and fear. In order to have one human family on our planet, we must solve these issues educationally, peacefully and in a humane way,” Shaikh Nahayan added.

“Education is one of the most effective ways to address the root causes that fuel hatred and mistrust. Education is vital if civilisation is to persist and prosper.”

New agreement

He also mentioned the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Tolerance and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation at GESF. The agreement was signed in the presence of Shaikh Nahayan and the UK’s Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a youth development framework, with more than 1.3 million participants in over 130 countries and territories.

The award is currently available in UAE international schools, with 60 organisations running the award. The partnership will enable young people from all of the UAE’s various population groups to be able to access and participate in the award.

Shaikh Nahayan said at the signing ceremony: “Among the values promoted by the award are tolerance and respect for diversity in all its forms. It is therefore natural that the Ministry of Tolerance seeks to work with such a prestigious partner to help promote tolerance.”

Prince Edward said: “Non-formal education, such as that offered by organisations that run The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, is a tried and tested way of enabling young people to challenge themselves, step outside their comfort zone and become positive agents of change, both for themselves and their wider communities. This partnership is a great opportunity to further the work of the Award within the UAE.”