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SPEECHES

Global Monitoring Report on Education for All 2010 Reaching the Marginalized launched

 

Speech by Kailash Satyarthi, President of Global Campaign for Education and Chair Global March Against Child Labour at the launch of 2010 GMR in New York on Jan. 19 2010

 

Mr. Secretary General, Madam Director General, Director Global Monitoring Report, Honourable Minister, dear Jenny and distinguished guests

 

We must congratulate Kevin Watkins and his entire GMR team for the report and giving due recognition to marginalization in education.  Remarkable progress has been made during the last decade, but the report strongly indicates that education is under serious threat due to the failed commitments of governments and donors.  This has been further aggravated by the global financial crisis.  The victims of marginalization, exclusion and poverty are worst affected by the economic crisis.

 

Numbers of out of school children narrowed down to 72 million over the last 10 years. Obvious questions being asked are ‘who are these children and where are they if not in the classrooms?’ What prevents them from joining schools?’ Today, I speak on behalf of an 8-year-old Indian boy, Mohammad trafficked and forced into bonded labour.  A couple of months ago when I rescued him and others, he asked, ‘I am not a child any more. How can I go to school?’ The same question was put by 15-year-old former child soldier Munino from Sudan recruited by the rebel army. 15-year-old Cynthia from Colombia was no different. She worked as a domestic help and then as a street vendor.  She was raped that led to the birth of her child. She responded that it is too late for her to study.

 

Mr. Secretary General and friends, we are really-really late. If we fail our children now we fail our future.  These girls and boys who are working in factories, mines and farms, living in rural areas, disabled, immigrants, living in disaster and conflict areas have played no role in creating the economic crisis.  But, are bearing the brunt of it.

 

Governments must prioritize education with adequate political will and with sufficient resources.  Efficient, accountable and inclusive funding mechanism has to be in place. Since we are talking about categories, which are hard to reach this task cannot be accomplished in the usual business manner.  Therefore the countries must make special efforts to withdraw those children from difficult situations and bring them to classrooms.  They must break the social and cultural barriers in education by forging multi-stakeholders partnerships.  The scope of the work goes beyond the realm of only the education ministries.  It demands inter ministerial cooperation and coordination. An effective inter agency coordination is equally important.  The presence of the Secretary General will hopefully send a clear signal that various UN agencies have to join hands to accomplish the second MDG on education, which underpins the success of all the others.

 

GCE will continue to campaign for donor countries to keep up their promises to world’s children and to meet their fair share of the $16 Billion to fill the financing gap.  This is just two percent of the amount mobilized to rescue only four major banks in the US and the U.K.

 

We aim to mobilize millions of education campaigners and supporters to come together for our 1-Goal Campaign this year.  This is being organized with the support of the football world and FIFA.  Together we are calling on the world leaders to make 2010 the year of renewed, revived and urgent action on education.

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