Global March

“Class of 2015: Education for All”


New York, NY, -Today, the “Class of 2015: Education for All” launched a new effort to build the political will to achieve education goals and remind world leaders of their promise that every child will get the opportunity of an education by 2015. A remarkable line up of supportive governments, faith groups, NGOs, sports, private sector organizations and education advocates registered their commitment to action on education, announcing pledges of $4.5 billion towards the achievement of education for all, over the next three years – two-thirds of this for basic education. When delivered, this money will be enough to educate 15 million children, including those struggling to stay in school as well as new entrants.

“I am proud today to help launch the Class of 2015 – uniting governments, faith groups, the private sector, civil society organizations and football as never before,” said UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. “As part of the UK’s commitment to spend £8.5 billion on education in the 10 years to 2015, I can announce today a further contribution of £50 million to the Education For All Fast Track Initiative and £5million to match funds raised by Comic Relief with UK schools. Together we can help make education for all a reality for the 75 million children out of school.”

Joining together at the United Nations High Level Event on the MDGs, the “Class of 2015” pledged to provide global leadership in the fight to fully fund and achieve the education goals. In 2000, world leaders pledged to ensure that by 2015, there would be Education for All. Eight years later, the MDG of gender parity in education has already been missed and the world is far off track for making the other education goals a reality. Experts agree that the goals are achievable-but much more needs to be done.

“Children are waiting at the school gates, despite repeated promises from the international community. G8 countries and other donor nations are behind on their commitments and today is a rallying call to work together to address the gaps,” said Kailash Satyarthi, President of the Global Campaign for Education. “$16 billion per year must be committed and mobilized in a predictable way by 2015 to achieve education for all. The pledges made today, if delivered, will make an immediate impact in developing countries and build the political will in donor countries to make good on promises for funding.”

Since 2000, increased funding has yielded results with 41 million more children in school, yet 75 million children of primary school age are still not in school, with many of them working in factories, on farms or caring for their sick parents instead. For those fortunate enough to make it to school, millions struggle to learn, as they share teachers with up to 100 other students, have few or no textbooks and receive only a few hours teaching a day. As generations before them also failed to have the chance at school, today 774 million adults are unable to read and write. By working together at key moments and mobilizing people in developed and developing countries, the “Class of 2015” will work to help achieve the education goals and ensure that every child has a chance to go to school.

FIFA announced a new commitment to mobilize support from millions of World Cup fans with its “Football for Hope” movement. “Together we can make universal education in Africa a reality and raise awareness on the challenges and needs of the continent, not only in the lead-up, but long after the final whistle of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa,” said Sepp Blatter, President of FIFA. “We call on all governments to be accountable for their promises on education and every sector of society should also join in and concretely contribute.”

“Next year on behalf of the school children of the UK, Comic Relief will commit to spending £5 million, including the money raised by the school community, on projects across Africa helping the hardest to reach children get an education, with the British government matching that money for a total of £10 million,” said Kevin Cahill, Chief Executive of Comic Relief. “Through its innovative Schools Choose programme, we will help UK school children understand the barriers faced by children across Africa in getting a good education, with the schools that get involved helping determine which particular work they would like their money to contribute to.”

Prime Minister Brown, President of the European Commission José Manuel* *Barroso and Satyarthi were joined by President H.E. Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg, World Bank President Robert Zoellick, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, as well as private sector leaders John Chambers, CEO of CISCO, Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu and representatives and leaders from civil society including Action Aid, Comic Relief, Education International, FAWE, Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision.

“Teachers are the foundation of Education For All,” said Assibi Napoe, Chair of the Global Campaign for Education. “18 million new teachers are needed between now and 2015 to guarantee that each classroom has a qualified teacher and many happy, healthy children.”

Education is a critical piece of the development puzzle. For an individual, education can offer a pathway to escaping from poverty, to finding a good job, and to becoming an active and valuable contributor to the social and economic health of our communities. For a country, expanding good quality education for all is a big contributor to economic growth.

“To help meet the serious challenges that remain, the World Bank is projecting a target of $1.5 billion per year for education through the International Development Association, in 2008 and 2009, subject to country needs,” said World Bank President Robert Zoellick. These funds will help governments in over 30 countries achieve quantitative targets such as reducing the number of out of school children globally by at least 3.5 million per year, and improving school quality and learning for over 150 million children each year.”


Around $16 billion in new commitments unveiled at UN anti-poverty event

25 September 2008 – Governments, foundations, businesses and civil society groups have rallied around the call to action to slash poverty, hunger, disease and other socio-economic ills by 2015, by announcing an estimated $16 billion in new commitments to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), at a high-level event at United Nations Headquarters.

“Today we did something special. We brought together a broad coalition for change,” Mr. Ban told a news conference at the end of the day-long event, which he convened with General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto.

The gathering “exceeded our most optimistic expectations,” he stated, noting that it generated an estimated $16 billion, including some $1.6 billion to bolster food security, more than $4.5 billion for education and $3 billion to combat malaria.

“If so, that expression of global commitment would be all the more remarkable because it comes against the backdrop of financial crisis,” said the Secretary-General, who recently reported that soaring food and fuel prices and the global economic downturn are impeding advances in meeting the internationally agreed anti-poverty targets.

“Today, we have strengthened the global partnership for development,” Mr. Ban told participants at the event’s closing. “Your resolve to act is evident. Yes, you have stepped up to confront growing challenges. Now, I urge you to move with more speed and focus.”

Mr. Ban has called for a summit on the MDGs in 2010 to further assess the delivery of the commitments undertaken.

Mr. D’Escoto said the new initiatives will inject new energy, resources and hope into global efforts to achieve the Goals. “However, these good efforts, as important as they are, are not enough,” he noted.

“The only way we can alleviate the suffering of the world’s poor is by creating a sound and just international economic system,” he stated, urging participants to work towards progress on the stalled Doha round of trade liberalization talks. “Ultimately, all countries are responsible for their own development. But everyone must have fair opportunities to do so.”

Nonetheless, he acknowledged the great strides made today. “We must go forward in partnership, for what we can achieve together is far greater than what any country or organization can accomplish alone.”

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero today added his voice to the chorus of thoseexpressing disappointment at the lack of progress in alleviating the lot of the world’s hundreds of millions of poor people.

“We have not advanced as much as we should have. We have not progressed as we had planned. We have done something wrong,” he told the General Assembly on the third day of its annual General Debate.

“And yet the urgency is the same if not greater than it was when the Millennium Goals were adopted,” he said. “We cannot hold back. We cannot blame our failure to fulfil our obligations on the situation in the markets. We cannot hide behind circumstances to avoid our pledges.

“It is not only a matter of heeding ethical imperatives, which in themselves cannot be delayed. It is a matter also if acting responsibly in support of international stability and equilibrium.”


Global leaders pledge $4.5B to send kids to school


NEW YORK (AP) — A coalition of governments, charities and U.N. agencies pledged $4.5 billion on Thursday in an effort to get all the world’s children in school by 2015.

A meeting — which included British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Australian Prime Minister Mark Rudd, Jordan’s Queen Rania, World Bank chief Robert Zoellick and former child laborers — was meant to boost the effort to eradicate illiteracy and provide universal primary schooling by 2015.

That was the target year established by a U.N. summit in 2000, but as Brown noted, the pace at this point would not reach the goal even by the end of this century.

Among those joining in to try and change that were rock star humanitarians Bono and Bob Geldof, who pledged to do their part by opening two new teacher training colleges in Malawi and Rwanda. The soccer federation FIFA chipped in, too.

The donations were announced at Thursday’s “Class of 2015: Education For All” pledging summit, which has a goal of getting 75 million more children into school — and ending discrimination against girls, who are frequently the last to be sent to school and the first to be pulled out in much of the world.

The meeting opened with appeals by two girls who escaped from child labor with the help of humanitarian groups. Devli Kumari, 11, was born in an Indian stone quarry where her whole family worked as bonded wage slaves. Ablaavi Agbodjan from Togo told the crowd in French that she now hopes to go to college and become a doctor.

“Why aren’t more girls in school?” asked Queen Rania. “Because they are fetching water from wells that are miles away.”

One out of four women cannot read or write, said Kailash Satyarthi, president of the Global Campaign for Education.

He praised the generosity of a few nations — naming Britain, Netherlands and Norway — but urged more support from G-8 nations, specifically encouraging the United States, Japan, Germany and Italy do more.
Applause broke out when it was announced that an e-mail had just been received from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who hailed their goals and promised, if elected, to sign a $2 billion U.S. “Global Education Fund” first proposed by Sen. Hillary Clinton.

The goal of universal primary education was first promised as a fundamental right in 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the U.N.’s core documents.

Since 2000, the campaign has brought 40 million more children into schools, Brown said. Zoellick cited Cambodia, which raised its rate of enrollment in primary schools from 50 percent to over 80 percent in just five years, as a success story.

The pledging conference was one of many international meetings taking place on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.


UN event features $4.5 billion pledge to support ‘Education for All’

By Roshni Karwal

NEW YORK, USA, 26 September 2008 – Devli Kumari, now 11, came a long way from a stone quarry in India, where she grew up as a child labourer, to United Nations headquarters in New York, where she spoke at the launch of an ‘Education for All’ campaign during the General Assembly session this week.

Devli told her story yesterday to a rapt audience that included UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, pop stars Bono and Bob Geldof, and other dignitaries attending the high-level event.

Together with her family, Devli said, she worked for many gruelling hours under harsh conditions every day. She was often beaten and received no access to education.

“I didn’t know what else was in the world,” she recalled. “I had never even seen paper until I was rescued four years ago, and it was then I first went to school. Now, I want to be able to read and write. I want to be a teacher when I grow up.”

Renewed funding commitments

Devli may well achieve her teaching dream. As she spoke, a group of government and private-sector partners were making a pledge of $4.5 billion to help educate some 15 million children worldwide over the next three years. The partners are participants in, ‘Education for All: Class of 2015’, the campaign launched during yesterday’s event.

The pledge came from corporations such as Intel, Microsoft and Cisco, civic and sports associations such as FIFA, charities, faith groups and the Governments of Australia, France, Norway, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the European Union and the United Kingdom.

“I have had the privilege of visiting so many countries, where in very place I have seen the case for education – not just as a matter of social justice and not just as an economic necessity, but as the right that every child should have as a human being,” said Mr. Brown.

‘We cannot afford to fail’

At the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, world leaders pledged to ensure universal primary education by 2015. But eight years later, the world as a whole is not on track to achieve this Millennium Development Goal.

Among the remaining challenges: Some 75 million children are still not enrolled in primary school; over a third of students who are enrolled drop out before completing their primary education; and there is a global shortage of teachers.

Education leaders agree that the goal is achievable, but much more needs to be done to reach the MDG target.

“Schools don’t just build lives, they save lives,” said Queen Rania. “Our deadline of 2015 is feasible. It is also indispensable and also non-negotiable. It is a test we cannot afford to fail.”

Commitment to education

UNICEF, one of the five agencies convening the ‘Education for All’ campaign, has steadily increased its commitment to this goal in recent years.

UNICEF’s programmes focus on ensuring the right to quality education for all girls and boys, eliminating gender disparities in education, restoring learning in emergency situations and helping to rebuild education systems in post-crisis transition countries.

“We have to build on this momentum, on the conviction that education can drive economic and social progress,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement presented at the ‘Education for All’ event. “With an education, people flourish. Without, they remain trapped in poverty.”

Earlier in the day, UNICEF’s Executive Director attended another high-level event – this one addressing the global malaria crisis. With support from UNICEF, she noted, 15 countries across sub-Saharan Africa have shown at least a five-fold increase in bed net coverage since 2000. At the same event, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $168 million to develop next-generation malaria vaccines. The World Bank also committed $1 billion to boost the fight against malaria.

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