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Highlights of the ‘World’s Biggest Lesson’ from around the world included

Highlights of the ‘World’s Biggest Lesson’ from around the world included:


Burkina Faso – Officials took part in the World’s Biggest Lesson on the 23rd April, whilst similar lessons took place in all regions of the country.

Burundi - Despite the unrest in the south of Burundi where the national World’s Biggest Lesson had been prepared, the coalition Bafeshebige went ahead with the lesson in the capital city of Bujumbura.

Cameroon – Officials attended the World’s Biggest Lesson.  Throughout the country thousands took part in the officials ‘Back to School’ events and workshops on quality education.

Ethiopia - Nine regions and two administrative councils worked together to make demands for the provision of quality education to end exclusion.  In Addis Ababa 10 schools took part in the World's Biggest Lesson.

Gambia - The World’s Biggest Lesson was held at Fatima Senior Secondary School. The lesson was followed with a performance by a local school choir and speeches from civil society and government representatives, including the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.

Ghana - A national community meeting (Durbar) was attended by officials, stakeholders, traditional leaders and politicians who were presented with a photo exhibition on the differences in infrastructure between rural and urban schools.

Kenya – The World’s Biggest Lesson was given to more than 20 formal and 20 informal schools in a open air lesson in Nairobi.  In a Mombasa Secondary School Councilor Teddy Mwambire of Ganze Kilifi District sat in class together with Maina Mbugua, a parliamentary aspirant in Kisaunu Constituency for the World’s Biggest Lesson.

Lesotho – Politicians and community leaders went back to schools in the rural disadvantaged of the country.  They witnessed the difficulties such as poor school infrastructure, over-crowded classrooms, and dilapidated learning materials.

Liberia – Action Week started with a radio talk show about the World's Biggest Lesson.  There was a national parade of the coalition LETCOM, students, parents, politicians and civil society activists to call for quality education.  A series of talk shops and working groups were also held on the issue of providing quality education for all in Liberia. 

Malawi – A number of exciting activities took place in Malawi, from public debates to designing action plans for providing Education for All in Malawi. 

Mozambique – ‘Major Aula’ (the World’s Biggest Lesson) took place in schools across the country, and for some involved was the first chance of sitting in class.  The Vice-Minister for Education returned to a school with no chairs, desks, or glass in the windows, where children struggle to study, and was taught the lesson.

Namibia - Politicians were the taught by learners on the importance of quality education and the promises they have made on Education for All, during the World’s Biggest Lesson.  Leaders from the teachers’ union (NANTU) and politicians sat in classrooms and were taught by learners for the World’s Biggest Lesson.

Nigeria – Executives and Members of the House of Representatives, lead officials of the Federal Ministry of Education, Senate and top Government officials and representatives of the coalition CSACEFA went to school with journalists to take part in the World’s Biggest Lesson.

Rwanda - The World's Biggest Lesson was a resounding success with lessons happening at different primary schools in Nyarugenge district as well as Shingiro Sector.

Senegal - Politicians went back to school in four regions.  During the World’s Biggest Lesson events, children delivered their messages and testimonies for education to MPs, leaders and celebrities. 

Sierra Leone – Officials went back to school and took part in a ‘Quality Education to End Exclusion’ symposium. 

Somalia - The World's Biggest Lesson took place in the Old Football Stadium in Abdal Aziz, Mogadishu. The lesson focused on how to address the education needs of internally displaced children who have been excluded from school following the recent Mogadishu violence.

Somaliland - Activities took place in five education institutions, where political, religious, academic leaders, PTA’s and renowned business people went back to school.  In each lesson drama, poems and songs that advocated for quality education were presented by children.

South Africa – In Cape Town, learners and teachers from 10 disadvantaged schools took the lesson.  Meanwhile, more than 1,000 teachers took the same lesson in Durban at the South African Democratic Teacher’ Union (SADTU)’s cultural festival.  This lesson’s attendees included the President of Education International Thulas Nxesi and Blade Nzimande, General Secretary of the South African Communist Party.

Sudan – Activities took place in Khartoum, White Nile, South and North Darfur, and El Gadarif.  A big exhibition was held in the UNESCO building and seminars given on quality education.

Uganda – A march for education took place on Monday.  The parliament has since been petitioned to discuss and pass the Education Bill that has been stalled for some time now.  This bill is a repeal of the 1971 Education Act and will introduce clauses on providing free, compulsory schooling to every child in Uganda. 

Zambia – Children marched to the World’s Biggest Lesson where they met the Vice President, and Minister of Education and Community Development, for the lesson by Lusaka’s Freedom Statue.




Asia & Pacific

Bangladesh - The number of people counted so far is 2.5 million, and reports are still coming in.  The lesson was held in more than 25,000 centres around Bangladesh with people from all walks of life taking part alongside leaders, local elites and public functionaries who vowed fresh commitments towards establishing everyone's right to quality basic education and creating an enabling learning environment.

Cambodia – His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni was taught the lesson by children who’ve been excluded from education and adult learners. 

India - 200 thousands people participated with former child laborers and school children in the World's Biggest Lesson. Children themselves imparted a lesson to the noted Bollywood personalities: actress Mahima Chaudhry, producer Tanuja Chandra, singer Jasbeer Jassi, and Amit Shyal.  Members of Parliament and campaigners were given the lesson by President of Global Campaign for Education, Kailash Satyarthi. For more detail visit :www.nce.org.in

Indonesia - In North Makulu, a wish list was created by 1,500 children that listed what constitutes a quality education in the minds of children.  This was handed over to politicians including the Head of the District of Bacan, during the World’s Biggest Lesson. 

Japan – The UNESCO Assistant Secretary General for Education Nick Burnett and UNICEF's Chief of Education, Cream Wright shared a school lunch with Japanese school children before being taught the lesson.  The attendance of popular celebrity, Agnes Chang from Hong Kong, attracted great national media coverage for the lesson. 

Lebanon - UNESCO Beirut cooperated with the Ministry of Education, UNESCO Associated Schools Project network and Mabarat Schools Network for the World’s Biggest Lesson.

Mauritius – Schools met with their Municipal Councillors, MPs, community and religious leaders and rallied through the streets for education for all.

Papua New Guinea – Thousands of students and hundreds of adult learners took part in the World’s Biggest Lesson including the Head of State and Governor General of PNG Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane and his wife Lady Kaludia at a rural school.

Pakistan – The World's Biggest Lesson took place in 40 districts with politicians joining schools and local community groups. 

Philippines – The World’s Biggest Lesson was given to Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Congressman Del de Guzman and other officials across the country.  At the end of the lesson, an E-Net (the education coalition) kite was flown high in the air in a call for quality Education for All.

Solomon Islands - Thousands of children and adults took part in the World’s Biggest Lesson alongside politicians, educationists, teachers, family members and supporters.

Sri Lanka – School students compiled dossiers on ‘Quality Education for All’ and delivered these to the Head of State, Minister of Education and Cabinet Ministers during the World’s Biggest Lesson. 

Taiwan - Global Action Week kicked off with the introduction of a life curriculum created to address issues of quality and exclusion in schools.   On Wednesday officials went back to school to attend the World's Biggest Lesson.

Turkmenistan - The World's Biggest Lesson was given and attended by the first Deputy Minister of Education Ms. Gulshat Mamedova and UNICEF representative Dr. Waheed Hassan.

Vietnam – Millions took part in the World's Biggest Lesson in all 64 provinces and cities nationwide with the support of the Ministry of Education and Training and UNESCO.





Albania - Schools throughout Albania took part in the World's Biggest Lesson. Following the lesson in Tirana, there was a football match between children and Members of Parliament.

Armenia – Many important decision makers took part in the World’s Biggest Lesson.

Austria - More than 2,000 Austrian children took part in the World's Biggest Lesson.

Bulgaria - Campaigners were in tears at the sheer magnificence and powerful messages that children gave to the Mayor of Sofia during the World's Biggest Lesson. 

Denmark – Close to 200,000 school students took part in Denmark’s Action Week with a special book called ‘Læseraketten’ that tells stories about education in poor countries.  Schools used the book to get ready for the World’s Biggest Lesson, which was attended by the Danish Minister for Development, Ms Ulla Tørnæs.

France - UNESCO and the French Coalition held the World’s Biggest Lesson at the UNESCO headquarters.  Officials from UNESCO, representatives of the education unions, young people from a UNESCO’s associated school and many more were in attendance.  Afterwards participants wrote messages on quality education to the UNESCO Director General and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Georgia - 70 politicians returned to their native schools. In the capital city, Tbilisi, there was a press conference after the World's Biggest Lesson. In attendance were the Deputy Minister of Education, different government departmental heads, local NGOS, representatives from UNESCO and UNICEF. They discussed the challenges to be dealt with by the education reforms that are underway.

Germany – Eight Members of Parliament took part in the national highlight event of World’s Biggest Lesson outside the German Reichstag (Parliament Building). More than 20 of the over 150 Schools with roundabout 12,000 students participating were also visited by politicians.

Hungary - The Teachers' Democratic Union organized the World's Biggest Lesson in over 500 institutions schools and hundreds of schools. Following lots of press coverage, thousands of children took part in the lesson.

Ireland – Once again schools and students across Ireland took part in the Action Week activities.  A major event on ‘Quality Education to End Exclusion’ was held at the new Irish Aid, Government Communications Centre, and attended by government ministers, who discussed the issue of children who are excluded from school.

Macedonia - More than 100 schools took part in the World's Biggest Lesson. Other activities included children meeting with high ranking politicians from Republic of Macedonia where politicians signed their support to Global Action Week and the Education for All goals.

The Netherlands - "Een spreekbeurtenmarathon", a presentation marathon, took place in schools across the country.  Politicians at national and local level and entertainers went back to school and were taught by students. Everyone present signed a petition with an emphasis on free and good quality education, which is to be presented to the Minister of Development Co-operation, Bert Koenders.

Nicaragua – The World's Biggest Lesson took place in Leon, Jinotega, Esteli, Ciudad Sandino, Carazo, Boaco, Chinandega and Managua and was attended by representatives of civil society, teachers, parents, children and adolescents and delegates of the Ministry of Education.

Norway – Officials took part in the World’s Biggest Lesson, and discussed their leadership role for the next High Level Group on Education, in Oslo in December.

Portugal – Over 100 schools took part in the lesson, organized by a new education coalition in Portugal.  In Lisbon, one school hosted politicians, opinion makers and the Vice-President for the Portuguese Institute for Development Assistance for the World’s Biggest Lesson.

Spain – The World’s Biggest Lesson took place in at least 16 city councils and authority buildings on the 24th April as the 23rd was a public holiday.  Specially designed puzzles were played as part of the lesson.

Sweden – The World’s Biggest Lesson took place at Naturvetargymnasiet at which students wrote messages in support of quality education to the local and national government.

UK – Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development, was taught the lesson by 100 school children outside the Houses of Parliament in London.




Middle East

Afghanistan - The World's Biggest Lesson was held in the capital city of Kabul and 15 provinces. In Kabul, the lesson was delivered by 8-year-old Tamina Jorat, to high level politicians including Vice President Ahmad Zia Masuood.

Jordan – The Ministry of Education, National Commission for UNESCO, Educational Directorates, schools and NGOs took part in the official ceremony of the World’s Biggest Lesson.

Palestinian Territories – Amazingly a million people took part in World’s Biggest Lesson in 20 directorates across the West Bank and Gaza, including diverse participation by politicians and Ministry of Education officials.




North America

Canada – A number of primary and secondary schools in the Toronto area hosted their Members of Parliament as they went back to school for the World’s Biggest Lesson.  A huge lesson was also held at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education.

Dominican Republic – More than 300 schools took part.  They compiled reports and wrote letters to political leaders about exclusion in education that will be delivered to the National Congress.

Guatemala – Officials, students, parents and teachers attended a photograph exhibition that displayed the lack of quality education for everyone and those who’ve been marginalised from school.

Honduras – Students marched to the Presidential House at the start of Action Week, after which politicians returned to school to be taught by students, and an ‘Education Changes Life’ forum brought together stakeholders to discuss ‘Quality Education to End Exclusion’.

Mexico – Hundreds of schools took part in the Worlds Biggest Lesson.  Outstanding people from the community, public figures, politicians, and representatives from the local educational sector returned to school to be part of the World Biggest Lesson.

USA - Shakira appeared beside leading young advocates for education from all across the USA on Capitol Hill on the eve of the World’s Biggest Lesson to advocate for education and raise awareness for the Bipartisan Education for All Act 2007.  Kenyan peace activist Karambu Ringera also led a lesson in Colorado.




South America

Argentina - A group of young people between 16 and 19 years from schools in the City of Buenos Aires and the province of Buenos Aires met with national senators at the National Congress of Young Students.  They gave the lesson to Senator Inés Osuna of Entre Rios Blanca, and Fernando Daniel Filums of the City of Buenos Aires.

Brazil – Events across the country communicated the results of a recent consultation on quality education in Brazil to teachers, students and pupils.

Chile - {0><}100{>AboutAbout 10,000 students and several politicians took part in the World’s Biggest Lesson across the country. The lesson raised awareness on Quality Education for All and reminded the leaders of the Dakar Education for All promises.  In Santiago, MP Carlos Montes and representatives from UNESCO and the National Forum for Quality Education for All attended the lesson held at María Elena School.

Colombia - Local celebrities turned up to the lesson across the country.

Ecuador – A special ‘Dialogues for Education’ took place in schools throughout the country, to raise awareness about quality education for all.  Education institutions also gave a present to their neighbourhood, by planting trees, painting a mural or cleaning the parks.

Peru – Over 300 schools in different parts of the country took part in the World’s Biggest Lesson.  GCE’s school report card for Peru was presented to Ministers, Congressmen and Members of the National Council for Education in Lima.

Uruguay – Schools and politicians shared the lesson on Quality Education for All.

Venezuela – Students taught adults, teachers and politicians in Caracas.  After discussing quality education they sent messages to their politicians asking for more and better schools. A huge lesson took place at the Central University of Venezuela


Photos are available from around the world here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/campaignforeducation/pool/




Bollywood Demands Quality Education For Child Laborers in Rising India 

23 April 2008, New Delhi: Hundreds of former child laborers and school children participated in the world's biggest lesson on education. Children themselves imparted a lesson to the noted Bollywood personalities Actress Mahima Chaudhry, Producer Tanuja Chandra, Jasbeer Jassi, the singer and Amit Shyal; Members of Parliament and social activists here today at the FICCI auditorium as part of the Global Action Week led by the President of Global Campaign for Education a worldwide movement demanding universal basic full time quality education for all. The Action Week in India is being jointly organised by National Coalition for Education (NCE), Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), Global March Against Child Labor (GMACL), CARE, OXFAM, World Vision and Save the Children Fund.

Children led a slate pencil march to the Parliament carrying empty slates in their tiny hands questioning the law makers and the government as to why more than 1/3 rd of India 's population was illiterate. At least 60-70 million children are still out of school. The child laborers constitute the largest group of children excluded from education in the country. The children demanded that right to education must be immediately enacted to ensure slates, pencils and books in the hands of children instead of work tools.

“India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Yet, it accounts for 34% of world's illiterate population. Right to Education has been enshrined since 2001 but it is neither supported by any law nor is it substantiated with adequate budget. Though India does well in school enrollment rate with primary school enrollment of 82%, the drop-out rate is also very high at 39.8%. Quality of education is low. School fee is still charged in many states. A lot of money is also spent in the non-tuition fee like uniform, syllabus, books, building cost etc.” alleged the protestors.

President of Global Campaign for Education (GCE), Kailash Satyarthi said-“Today at least 6 million children across 110 countries are going to set a world record of the world's largest lesson on any issue in the history. This would definitely be added to the Guinness Book of World Records under the slogan – Quality education to end exclusion.”

Children from BBA and its partners, Amarlal and Sonia, imparted the world's biggest lesson to the other children and the celebrities at the FICCI Auditorium. The children also enacted a play- “ladki padhke kya karegi?” (Why should a girl be educated?”), depicting the need for girls' education.

Bollywood star Mahima Chaudhry said- “I think nobody should ignore the voice of these children. If their voice goes unheard, I am willing to be their voice. Education should be not just a fundamental right but should be made into a law.”

The children sang along with Jassi to his popular tunes. Notel film Producer Tanuja Chandra said “Education is our right that can possibly ease problems especially in India . Children are the most precious gifts and their education should be country's obsession.”

R.C. Dabas of the AIPTF said – Teacher's unions play an important role in education for all. Our main focus has always been quality education and we will make concerted efforts to ensure this to all children so that all children can earn an education that equips them to get proper employment. ”The Indian chapter of GCE, National Coalition for Education (NCE) is a conglomeration of Parliamentary Forum on education, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), All India Primary Teachers Federation (AIPTF) and All India Federation of Teacher's Organisations (AIFTO) Deepaly


Shakira Rocks The Hill Asking US Lawmakers Enhance Aid To Education

 Shakira the popular singer now in the new avatar of Honorary Chair of the Global Campaign for Education was in the Capitol Hill with Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) asking the US lawmakers to enhance the flow of predictable aid towards the Education for All by 2015. Shakira said that I am speaking from experience of my native country Colombia where children have to work and beg for getting food.

She said that no child would ever want to work if they have the opportunity to attend full time school. For the children from the poor families the only incentive to attend full time schools is to be provided with meals in the school. She gave the personal example of the five schools she is running through her Bare Foot Foundation which is providing 5000 children in native Colombia with food and not a single child is ever absent.

Shakira said that the only way to break the cycle of poverty is to provide good quality education to the children of the world.

Speaking on the occasion Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) said that even in this times of recession US economy can meet the additional cost of providing all children in the US and the world good quality full time education. She said that providing education is an essential pillar of our foreign policy today as it is directly linked to peace and security imperative.

Gene Sperling, Chair, Campaign for Education, USA said that it is worth contemplating that the US share in the funding on education is one fifth of the share of UK as they invest about close to one and a half billion annually. US should take the leadership by enhancing the aid to global education compact

Link to the slide show of Shakira at GAW 2008

http://picasaweb.google.com /sudhanshu.joshi/GAW2008




Back to school!

The World's Biggest Lesson is taking place on 23 April 08.

It will unite millions of children, teachers, parents and campaigners across the globe in their attempt to break the world record, and ensure everyone has an education.  Politicians, officials and journalists will be taught, alongside children and parents, on Quality Education to End Exclusion.

The Action Plan 
A simple action that we hope will unite all the GCE coalitions around the world. We want to send as many politicians as we can
 Back to School so they can learn about the education crisis and the importance of EFA. Halfway to the 2015 targets the Education For All goals are way off track and we want to pressurize as many politicians as we can about the need for urgent action.

Schools and local groups can take part in one of two ways:

Inviting a politician to visit them and take part in a lesson along with local media

By producing messages on education for all and sending them to a politician

The lesson here is intended for teachers and those who will be teaching the World's Biggest Lesson.

Remember the World's Biggest Lesson should be taught on Wednesday 23rd April 2008, at either 4am GMT, 8am GMT or 3pm GMT.  Anyone can take part.


Many countries have tailored the lesson to suit the national curriculum - you can check your country's websitehere.

At the back of the lesson plan you will find the report back form.  As you will need to collect all the names of everyone who takes part in the lesson, this form can be handed around the class for everyone to fill in their names. 

If you are having difficulty downloading the lesson plan, you can email - info@campaignforeducation.org to request a copy via email.

> Want to know more about the World's Biggest Lesson?

> Download the World's Biggest Lesson posters and flyers


Dateline gives you a comprehensive account of all the major events that had taken place so far. Click below to learn about the events.