The board of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) met at the head office of Education International in Brussels, 26-27 January.
The GCE, established in 1999, has three components: teachers and their unions, children and organisations championing childrens’ rights, and advocacy organisations. Its goal is to strengthen the worldwide movement for quality education that is inclusive, equitable and properly funded.
“EI is a founding member of the GCE. It is a very crucial moment for us to meet and take action in 2010,” says EI Deputy General Secretary Monique Fouilhoux. “It has been exactly 10 years since the Dakar commitments for education and the Millennium Development Goals were adopted, and we have only five more years remaining to achieve them.”
“The recently-launched 2010 Global Monitoring Report on Education for All shows that we are not on track to achieve our goals. It is thus all the more important to take action during the upcoming international summits,” she added.
One of the main GCE campaigns in 2010, called 1Goal, is linked to the FIFA Football World Cup to be held in South Africa in June and July.
“We are aiming at reaching more than 1 billion people through the news media, and through a massive SMS campaign during this event,” explains Kailash Satyarthi, President of the GCE. “We also count on the online support of at least 30 million people to the cause of education.”
After the World Cup finale, GCE national coalitions will try to maintain the public interest and political will to strengthen education, in particular to improve student enrolment and retention rates, and hiring of trained quality teachers.
The second major GCE campaign is Global Action Week, which will take place from 19-25 April 2010. The theme for this year is financing education.
“The current economic and social crises will prevent some countries from achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and threaten to annihilate progress made by others,” says Fouilhoux. The appeal to government for a sustained and increased investment in education notwithstanding, the economic crisis is also at the heart of EI’s campaign called Hands Up for Education!
“It is important now, more than ever, for GCE member organisations to join forces. We must seize the momentum to ensure decent funding that allows for provision of quality education for all to become reality, not just a hollow promise,” Fouilhoux added.
Satyarthi noted: “The demand for quality education among the poorest, the most marginalised people in developing countries has grown tremendously. Even if the political environment and resources are not favourable, nobody can stop the unprecedented demand for education.”
EI calls on its member organisations and national coalitions to work together for the 1Goal Campaign and during the Global Action Week, and to advocate for education at intergovernmental meetings.