On January 30, young people and teachers from 10 countries joined up at the European Parliament in Brussels for the launch of Global Action Week 2007.
At a colourful event hosted by MEP and former teacher Glenys Kinnock, students from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, France, Ireland, Greece plus Argentina and Senegal put tough questions to their representatives in the European Parliament urging them to push for the education rights of the 80 million children who still don’t have access to school. They asked about their intentions with regard to lobbying for overall increases in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of GNI. Spanish students questioned why European governments continue to fund arms at the expense of investment in crucial areas like education.
Kinnock highlighted the urgent need for a long-term commitment, for predictable funding to be given for teachers’ salaries, school books and other supplies. “We will need $5 billion per year until 2015,” she added. She also made the link between education and health, as an additional year at school for a girl in Africa reduces the risk of child death by eight per cent. The children and MEPs concluded the event by joining up in a chain to demonstrate their support for education.
EI strongly encourages its affiliates to engage in activities for the Global Action Week, which will take place from 23 to 30 April 2007. To learn more about the campaign and how you can participate, please visit: www.ei-ie.org/globalactionweek.