Social Responsibility

Schools for Good

Every day in one of our schools, our students learn about the importance of putting others first, making a difference in the lives of their community, and of having a positive impact in the world. It’s only right, therefore, that we walk our own talk, which is why we take social and global responsibilities seriously.

The Varkey Foundation 

We’re proud to support the Varkey Foundation, a charitable organisation established by GEMS Founder Sunny Varkey to improve the standards of education for underprivileged children and raise the status and capacity of teachers throughout the world.

  • The Varkey Foundation

    We’re proud to support the Varkey Foundation
    The Foundation believes in the importance of a quality education for every child and that every child deserves a good teacher. It works with government partners and organisations to build the capacity and status of teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and improve outcomes.

    The Foundation’s projects focus on girls’ education, refugee education, education technology, leadership, and teacher training, among many other important areas.

Climate Change Teachers

We know that, if we’re to take our responsibility for preparing students for life seriously, we can’t ignore climate change. It’s their generation that will be impacted the most, so we see it as our duty to equip them with the knowledge, understanding and resilience to be able to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change – enabling them to flourish in a world remade.

GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa made headlines in 2019, when one of its teachers, Candice Wright, made it into the history books by becoming the UAE’s first official Climate Change Teacher accredited by the United Nations through the UN CC:Learn initiative. Since then, many hundreds of GEMS teachers and students have been inspired to follow in her footsteps.

The Kindergarten Starters (now GEMS Legacy School) became the first school in the world to have a United Nations-certified Climate Change Teacher in every one of its 162 classrooms, with all 300-plus teaching and administration staff at the school, along with 60 parents, completing the UN CC:Learn course. Climate literacy is now an integral part of the school’s enhanced curriculum.

By training our teachers to educate children about the impact of climate change, we will enable them to be responsible citizens of the future.

Asha Alexander

Principal, GEMS Legacy School and Executive Leader – Climate Change

Towards the end of 2019, Asha Alexander, Principal of GEMS Legacy School and Executive Leader – Climate Change at GEMS Education, was invited to present this accomplishment in front of an international audience at the Conference of Parties – COP 25 in Madrid, Spain.

This inspired the School Conference of Parties Expo – SCOPE 2020 that took place in October 2020, and which engaged more than 38 schools across the UAE, Australia, Costa Rica and India with the purpose of further propelling the climate change and sustainability agenda and empowering students with high levels of climate change awareness, research and collaborative global problem-solving skills.


Climate Change Schools

GEMS schools are on a mission to become sustainable, carbon neutral schools. To achieve this, many have partnered with EduCCate Global to take steps to lower their environmental impact in a systematic way. The Westminster School – Dubai was the Middle East’s first ‘Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Climate Change Learning’ as well as the largest school in the world to have achieved this status.

All students at a UN CC:Learn accredited school have the opportunity to be taught by Climate Change Teachers. Students cover a range of topics, including climate change science, gender and environment, children and climate change, cities and climate change, and human health. GEMS is the first school group in the UAE to recognise the importance of this modern, and essential, teaching programme.

The world is now waking up to the fact that urgent action is needed to address the climate emergency, and what better way to start than with education. This is just the start of what we intend to be a long-term programme of enhancing the teaching throughout our school network across the world.

Dino Varkey

Group CEO, GEMS Education

Energy efficiency

In the first project of its kind in the UAE, students at GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa spent a year working alongside Siemens-certified energy engineers to survey their school and develop a solution to improve energy efficiency. They carried out site walks and asset counting, took measurements, installed instruments and analysed energy consumption as part of a year-long internship offered to students in Year 12.

The students then successfully pitched their proposal and FirstPoint School is now being completely re-mapped accordingly, with the project expected to save 40 per cent of the school’s energy consumption.

Other GEMS schools have also taken significant steps to reduce their energy consumption. Our Own High School – Al Warqa’a and GEMS Cambridge International School – Dubai, for example, are both the proud recipients of the DEWA Conservation Award.

More To Explore

  • Today we continue to take immense pride in the high standard of our schools, our teachers and the myriad opportunities made available for the young learners in our care.

  • Throughout our more than 60 years in education, our mission has remained unwavering – to put a quality education within the reach of every learner.
  • Our story began in 1959, when two passionate teachers – KS and Mariamma Varkey – left Kerala, India for the United Arab Emirates in search of a better life for their young family.

  • GEMS Education is one of the oldest and largest Kindergarten to Grade 12 / Year 13 private education providers in the world.

  • You don’t achieve sustained success over a period of more than 60 years without the right people. Which is why it’s our passionate teachers, dedicated support staff and visionary leaders who truly set us apart.


  • We know that as a parent you want only the very best for your child. The best opportunities, the best experiences and the best education. It’s what every one of our schools delivers every single day, and we’re proud of the quality of our provision and the difference it’s making in the lives of the tens of thousands of children in our care.
  • View our many partners that we work with.
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