Education International
Education International

500 days to get 57 million children to school

published 10 April 2014 updated 16 April 2014

Working together to break down the barriers to education for the 57 million out-of-school children: this is the key aim of the 2015 Countdown Summit taking place today, 10 April, in Washington, DC, in the US. With only 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), EI will play a key role in the summit alongside other organisations, campaigners, and youth leaders from around the world demanding equal opportunity and quality education for every child and young person.

The Summit is taking place in the US capital, on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Here, leading grassroots campaigners, policy and communication experts, and youth activists will join global policy leaders for plenary sessions, campaign working meetings, and strategic briefing sessions at the 2015 Countdown Summit. The EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen and Education Coordinator, Antonia Wulf, are representing EI at the summit.

72 years to wait

The event is part of the 500 Day Countdown for Global Education, a campaign by the non-governmental organisation A World at School. It denounces the fact that millions of children are out of school and out of learning. At the current rate of progress, it will be 2086 before every single girl on the planet is able to go to attend primary school. The campaign encompasses several key themes, which include:

  • Children affected by conflict
  • Early forced marriage
  • Discrimination against girls
  • Child labour
  • Zero exclusion from education
  • Teachers and learning

Key discussions

The summit will allow the participants to set targets and introduce them into the campaign themes. It will kick off with executive meetings and remarks from UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the opening plenary. Peer-led focus groups will then discuss some of the biggest obstacles to access and learning for all children, including discrimination against girls, child labour, child marriage, quality of learning, financing, and more. Other activities will include the launching of a Youth Toolkit for taking action for education by youth campaigners from the Global Education First Initiative, Plan International, and A World at School.

For more information on the summit, please click here or follow the summit’s Twitter hashtag: #educationcountdown