GCE Presidential Election – Candidacy Speech by Refaat Sabbah

Good evening everyone,

Being a former teacher (in a poor school for students in need, where I taught them language through literature, and opened the space to hold what we called student’s courts to allow students participate in solve problems) and then a founder and General Director of the Teacher Creativity Center in Palestine, gave me this passionate mission in life “education”. “I’m lucky, because through my extensive experience in the field of education as social actor, I get to live my passion. I love working with people and inspiring change. There’s no better feeling than getting our goals finally achieved; creative plans and boundless energy are what I consider to be my hallmarks.”

With the spirit of determination and solidarity, I am honoured today to nominate myself to serve the Global Campaign for Education, this historical social movement that I belong to and I feel. It changed my life personally and motivated us to build Arab educational movement, that worked to change the life of millions of the most marginalised, excluded, and poor people from refugees, IDPs, women, youth and people with disability. Therefore, my dream is to continue this path and represent this movement to contribute to change others’ life and wellbeing.

I have always been passionate. Being member in the board of GCE, I have learned a lot from its work and learned even more from its esteemed qualified members.

I am standing in front of you today as we continue to work on building an educational social democratic movement built on the shoulders of coalitions all over the globe; that unifies civil societies throughout the world to have strong and loud voice.

We will continue standing in support for those in marginalised areas in getting the right to education. We will continue our attempts to be existing in all spaces in order to ensure the provision of inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Our goal of providing quality, free and inclusive education cannot be achieved without a collective framework for the oppressed within a structured framework.


I realise, that most of you know me very closely, and I hope that my presence at the head of the campaign will bring us closer. I promise as a believer in the nobility of our message, we carry that our accumulated experience will ensure the success of our goals and our legitimate aspirations to establish educational systems that promote openness, diversity, tolerance and acceptance of the others, away from the challenges that surround the educational process.

Today, I will not make promises, but I will talk about commitments. I always believe that I belong to this movement and my presence in the leading level will enhance your presence.

I am planning to work with all of you to gain more allies not only from civil actors but also from governments, donors, and INGOs. We will use all our energy to draw attention to education priorities and we will partner with all stakeholders like media, youth groups, and all the people in our countries. We will make alliances with those like-minded and those who share our values, and will open dialogues with those who need to be convinced in our vision and mission.

I will work with you to make our advocacy more evidence- based, and will work hard on building the capacity of our national coalitions to become more influential actors in national, regional and global education formulation.

I am a strong believer in social justices and social accountability, and global citizenship and they should be at the center of our attention. We should consolidate our advocacy efforts to put children first, especially children in emergency contexts and those at risk.

I will end to thank you all for your hard work and I believe in this great movement, together we can make the change. The Global Campaign for Education is a history that brings us together. We are making history, and together will make it great.

Long life GCE

Yours faithfully,

Refaat Sabbah

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