DUBAI: Bollywood actress and superstar Priyanka Chopra shone at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) 2018 stage in Dubai with her charismatic personality and her views on how education empowers people.
Emphasising on the importance of education for future generations, Chopra said: “There’s a whole generation of kids we might lose if we don’t get them an education.”
Recalling her experience of meeting a Syrian refugee child in Jordan, Priyanka said many of them feel that “nobody cares about them,” adding, “it’s easy for them to take a rifle instead of a pen.”
At the end of her session, Priyanka took to social media to express her happiness and thanked the organisers for letting her be a part of the Forum.
She went on to post a picture with Julia Gillard who she had worked with before and mentioned how she loved to meet her again.
So wonderful to see you again @JuliaGillard…and proud to stand alongside you as a champion for global education. I’m looking forward to continuing our discussion from #UNGA. Big thank you to the @VarkeyFdn for bringing us all together. #GESF @GESForum pic.twitter.com/V8111WBhg8
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) March 17, 2018
Priyanka Chopra who has worked with UNICEF for the last ten years and was appointed as the national and global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights in 2010 and 2016 respectively, promotes various causes such as environment, health and education, and women’s rights and is particularly vocal about gender equality and feminism.
Apart from Chopra, educationists, government leaders, private sector professionals, NGOs, campaigners and celebrities also took to stage to highlight the danger of losing a generation by 2030 because of millions of children being out of school or not learning well in class.
Julia Gillard, former prime minister of Australia, stressed on the “interconnected” nature of communities and nations today, saying developments in one country can impact another. She said people’s attitude towards this interconnectedness ultimately decides whether the world will be more “stable” or “fractured”.
Dubai Cares CEO Tariq Al Gurg said 50 million children live in countries experiencing conflict, warning that “the cost of doing nothing is extreme”. He said education has the “power to turn the course”.
The opening ceremony also featured three survivors, Lewis Mizen, Suzanna Barna and Kevin Trejos, of last month’s school shooting in Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 people dead. The schoolmates are campaigning for gun control, saying their goal is to ensure “every child who goes to school comes back to their parents”.
Widely referred to as ‘the Davos of Education’, GESF is a Varkey Foundation initiative, held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Among the key speakers spearheading sessions are Al Gore, former Vice-President of the United States; Nicholas Sarkozy, former President of France; Jennifer Hudson, Oscar-winning actress and Grammy award winning singer; Charlize Theron, another Oscar-winning actress; Priyanka Chopra, Hollywood-Bollywood star, Sir Mo Farah, four times Olympic Games Champion and six times World Champion in long distance running; English actor Nicholas Hoult, former Pakistani first-class cricketer Wasim Akram, Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia; Simon Schama, world-renowned historian; Ambarish Mitra, Blippar CEO and Augmented Reality pioneer.
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