Abu Dhabi Education experts in the capital yesterday proposed a global fund for education that could be used to provide basic primary schooling for every child by 2015.

Although universal access to primary schooling is part of the Millennium Development Goals, it can only be achieved if international funding and support are available, Gordon Brown, former British prime minister, said.

"Even now, there are 70 million children worldwide who cannot attend school because there are simply no schools to attend. If a global fund were created, however, education could even be provided to children in remote areas using available technology," Brown said.

Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), said that all nations should push towards the establishment of a global fund to support education.

"The effort should, however, not be restricted to the government. Individual donations go a long way to educating children all over the world," he said.

Educational reforms

The officials were speaking at the first two-day ‘Transforming Education Summit' in the capital, where over 200 delegates, including ministers, educators and business leaders, gathered to discuss educational reforms. Organised by the Adec, the next edition of the summit will be held in two years.

Speaking of educational reform in Abu Dhabi, Dr Al Khaili said Adec is currently working to increase the number of hours per school year. "We are aware that 1,200 hours of schooling are recommended each year by Unesco, and that some of our schools do not meet this standard. We are working to address this issue. While private schools in the emirate of Abu Dhabi meet this requirement and some even exceed it, public schools now offer almost 1,000 hours of schooling per year," he said.

— With inputs from Nada Al Taher, Staff Reporter