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Global Action Week 2008


GLOBAL CAMPAIGN FOR EDUCATION BREAKS WORLD RECORD FOR WORLD’S BIGGEST EVER LESSON

7.5 million children, adults, teachers joined politicians in over 100 countries to learn about the importance of everyone having the chance for a quality education

More than 7.5 million children, adults, teachers and campaigners took part in the Global Campaign for Education’s “World’s Biggest Lesson”. The world record for the largest simultaneous lesson in history has been broken already – and the numbers are still coming in.  The World’s Biggest Lesson focused on providing a quality basic education to everyone especially the 72 million children and 774 million adults who are currently missing out.  All over the world Politicians and Ministers went back to school, were taught the lesson by children before being asked what they planned to do to make sure everyone gets a quality education.

The Global Campaign for Education is still collecting verification forms from around the world, but an early count shows that the World Record has been broken. The total attempting the record is at least seven and a half million people.  The country with the highest recorded count is Bangladesh, with 2.5 million people taking part in over 25,000 different locations across the country.  Millions also took part in lesson in Vietnam and in an impressive campaigning effort a million took part in the lesson in the Palestinian Territories. 

Celebrities, Heads of States, and Officials took part in the lesson across the world, with the highest profile being Colombian singer and Grammy award winner, Shakira.  She sought international attention as Honourary Chair of Global Action Week, both on a media call with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and World Bank President Robert Zoellick, and as she lobbied Congress with students in Washington. 

“I find it so inspiring that there are so many young people who care so deeply about the rights of all children to go to school that they would bring about this global movement,” said Shakira.

Amongst the impressive list of others to take part in the World’s Biggest Lesson were Papua New Guinea’s Head of Sate Paulias Matane, Afghanistan’s Vice-President Ahmad Zia Masuood, Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni, Mozambique’s Vice Minister for Education, the Netherlands Minister of Development Co-operation, Bert Koenders and Turkmenistan’s Deputy Minister of Education, Ms Gulshat Mamedova 

“The most promising reason to believe that the world will achieve its goals of Education for All by 2015 has been the emergence of strong civil society movement and this mobilization of millions of children, women and men during the Global Action Weeks each year,” noted Kailash Satyarthi, GCE President. “We will not fall silent until we have ensured quality education for all.” 

“One in four women in the world are illiterate.  It’s not right, and it’s not just.  The Global Campaign for Education has been demanding an end to this injustice since 2000,” noted Muleya Mwananyanda, GCE Action Week Coordinator.   “By having legislators and government leaders join in the World’s Biggest Lesson, we are challenging them to share with us what they are doing to ensure others get educated, and have the opportunities to be sitting where they’re sitting now.”

The World’s Biggest Lesson was the highlight of the Global Campaign for Education’s (GCE)’s Action Week which is taking place 21st – 27th April.  Every year civil society across the world takes part in this week that pressurizes all governments to keep their promises and meet the Education for All goals, which were signed up to by 164 governments in Dakar in April 2000.  With the phenomenal success of the World’s Biggest Lesson, 2008 is having the biggest Action Week since the beginning of the Global Campaign for Education in 1999.