Today, Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the UN, kicked off his new Education First initiative to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly. During his speech about the new initiative, Ban Ki-Moon stressed the urgency of providing educational opportunities, accessibility, and resources to all students around the world to ensure that the talents of an entire generation are not wasted.
Given the global recession, governments have had to take austerity measures with educational funding, with even the US Department of Education looking towards automatic budget cuts in 2013 that would cut Title I funding by $1.1 billion and special education funding by $900 million.
The Secretary-General stated that even though all governments are facing financial difficulties, the “cost of leaving millions of children and young people on the margins of society is far greater than the funds required to jump-start efforts to reach international goals for education…”
The Education First initiative focuses on three large goals to be reached by 2015. First, the global community aims to ensure that every child receives a primary education. Getting every child to attend school would be a major task in itself as it would require that the necessary infrastructures are in place and that each family obtains a certain level of economic security and good health. Second, the global community wants to ensure that each child not only has access to education, but that the education is of a certain caliber so that every child can participate in the modern world. Third, there is a priority in fostering global citizenship. The Secretary-General stated the purpose of all of this education was not simply to promote economic competiveness, but to “promote peace, mutual respect and environmental care”.
Here at United Classrooms, we primarily focus on the last two of Education First’s priorities: ensuring a quality education and fostering global citizenship. In an ever-changing and sometimes uncertain world, it is imperative that we believe in and nurture an education that promotes a child’s evolution from an individual in their immediate community to one that serves as an influence for good on a global-scale. Every child can be an instrument for human betterment, a more progressive world and a safer future if they are given the appropriate tools and guidance. We at UClass are honored to be part of a movement of reformers, thinkers, educators, leaders and movers who are making Ban Ki-Moon’s vision of an educated, secure, fulfilling world come to fruition.
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