To the Editor,
I am joined in this call to action by 500 other young advocates for global education. Together, we make up the Global Youth Ambassadors group – launched on April 1, by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.
I recently returned to my home in New Jersey after spending seven months teaching English in French Guiana. My students came from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, exposing me to many different issues affecting their learning outcomes. Despite the fact that it is administered by France, French Guiana also faces extreme poverty and inequality. I have seen firsthand the adverse effects of these conditions on children’s learning outcomes and encouraged my students to persevere in spite of these setbacks.
Shazia and Kainat are two of my fellow Ambassadors. Along with Malala Yousafzai, They were shot by the Taliban for going to school in Pakistan just over a year ago. Their story, and that of so many other of the youth advocates I have joined forces with, inspires me to stand up for the millions of children that are kept out of school because of poverty, early marriage, child labour and different forms of discrimination. As firm believers that education is the answer to the greatest challenges we face as a society, we ask for your help in urging leaders to raise budgets, build schools, train teachers and improve learning for all children.
It has been shown that we could lift over 170 million people out of poverty simply by teaching every child in low-income countries basic reading skills. So why are we not making this a reality? Unless we revert current trends, we will not even achieve universal primary education before 2086.
What can you do to help? Join A World at School in our campaign to get every child into school learning. Support our calls to action and get all the latest news on global education online (www.aworldatschool.org) on twitter (@AWorldAtSchool) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AWorldAtSchool). Contribute to the #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign. Attend an education event in your area on June 16, the Day of the African Child. Help us draw attention to the global education crisis and ensure that no child is denied the right to learn.
Global Youth Ambassador, A World at School