Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Education First" - Initiative

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has launched a new initiative to increase access to, and the quality of, education for children worldwide. Called “Education First,” the initiative will focus on three priorities over the next five years: putting every child in school, improving the quality of learning and fostering global citizenship through education “Every one of us stands on the shoulders of our teachers, our communities, our families who believed in us and invested in our education,” Mr. Ban said at the launch of the initiative, on the margins of the 67th session of the General Assembly in New York on 26 September. “We are here today because we know every child everywhere deserves that same chance.”

In an op-ed article in the Huffington Post, the Secretary-General said education was not simply a moral imperative; it was the smart choice. “Every dollar invested generates $10 to $15 in returns. Yet worldwide, some 61 million children are still not in school. Our shared ideals are simple. We want all children to attend primary school and to progress to secondary school and relevant higher education. We want them to acquire the literacy, numeracy and critical-thinking skills that will help them to succeed in life and live as engaged and productive global citizens,” the Secretary-General said.

"Education First” has already attracted commitments totalling $1.5 billion. Among the countries that pledged to intensify their support for Education First are Australia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Timor-Leste and Denmark. From the private sector, the Western Union Foundation and the MasterCard Foundation pledged to give grants for economically disadvantaged students from the African continent so they can complete their education.

Source: Youth - Social Policy and Development Division

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