Mariamma Varkey
Mariamma Varkey (File photo) Image Credit:

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has lauded the role of UAE’s pioneering educator Mariama Varkey who passed away recently.

“Mariamma Varkey moved to Dubai with her husband in 1959. Driven by an enduring passion for education, she started tens of schools with thousands of students inside and Outside UAE. Mariamma recently passed away, leaving behind a legacy of education in UAE and beyond,’ Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

Mariamma was a former teacher from Kerala in India who moved to Dubai with her husband K.S. Varkey in 1959. They founded Our Own English High School in 1968, the first school under the group which was established by the couple’s son Sunny Varkey in 2000.

Sunny Varkey, GEMS Education Founder and Chairman, said in a statement: “I am most grateful for these kind words from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, commemorating my beloved mother and her pioneering role in furthering education in the United Arab Emirates. My family and I consider it a most gracious tribute in honour of her. My mother loved this land, its leaders and people, and considered it her home and second country. We will continue and live up to her pioneering legacy and embody her firm belief in the power of education to change the lives of generations and make the world a better place."