UNITED NATIONS : A new international funding plan aiming to raise $10 billion to ensure that every child get a primary education by 2030 Friday received support from the United Nations , the World Bank and regional development banks.
Youth activists presented a petition calling for the biggest education investment in history to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with 1.5 million signatures from Pakistan and Bangladesh, adding to the 10 million signatures already collected from around the world.
It calls on world leaders to launch a new International Finance Facility for Education that can provide an additional $10 billion to help send millions of marginalized boys and girls to school.
U.N. Special Envoy for Education Gordon Brown, a former British prime minister, said over 260 million children are not attending school today, and if current trends continue 400 million won't be educated beyond age 11 by 2030, the target to meet the U.N. goal of ensuring a primary and secondary education for all children.
The plan targets some of the world's most marginalized youth and addresses issues which are denying them access to school, such as child labour, child marriage and discrimination against girls.It also aims to help countries achieve Sustainable Development Goal --4, e which calls on governments to deliver equitable, quality education for all.
The UN chief thanked Brown and the youth representatives for the initiative, stressing that "a huge investment" is needed in global education.
Guterres, who had previously spent 10 years at the helm of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, expressed concern that priority is not given to children's education during humanitarian crises.
'I remember that in emergencies there is this mentality of 'move the trucks, pitch the tents, find the water, distribute the food, find the vaccines', but the question of putting the schools to work, finding teachers comes later,' he said, adding that "the amount of humanitarian funding dedicated to education was, and - I believe - still is, extremely reduced."
The Secretary-General also highlighted future education needs, pointing out that one billion young people will enter the labour market in the next decade and the kind of jobs they will perform may differ from those available today.
"Education has to be able to address the needs of today, but education needs to prepare us for the future," he said. APP/AFP