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Plan welcomes ‘Education First’ initiative

The 'Education First' initiative focuses efforts on addressing the specific barriers which keep girls from accessing and progressing through their education.
The 'Education First' initiative focuses efforts on addressing the specific barriers which keep girls from accessing and progressing through their education.
September 26, 2012

Global child rights organization Plan International has welcomed the UN Secretary General BAN Ki-moon’s 'Education First' initiative aimed at ensuring education for all children across the globe.

The initiative was launched at a high-level event at the UN in New York today, attended by several Heads of State, business, civil society leaders and UN officials.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly Nigel Chapman, CEO of Plan International, said: “On behalf of Plan I would like to welcome the launch of Education First. I have seen first-hand the power education has of transforming the lives of children and communities. I have also seen firsthand how many children are still missing out on their chance to a quality education. The initiative, therefore, is a promising start to put education back on track. It unites the UN agencies and programs, governments, business leaders and civil society to join forces for global action.”

Plan, said Mr. Chapman, is particularly concerned about the 75 million girls who are currently out of primary and lower secondary school. To address this situation, the organization is launching its Because I am a Girl global campaign on October 11th which is also the first International UN day of the Girl Child.

Given that one of Education First’s priorities is around increasing access to education, the UN Secretary-General and the partnership around the initiative have an opportunity to focus efforts on addressing the specific barriers which keep girls from accessing and progressing through their education, said Mr. Chapman.

As Education First recognizes, although significant progress has been made towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals, the latest data shows a clear slow-down. Without a major effort, such as the initiative Secretary General is spearheading there is a real danger that more children will be out-of-school in 2015 than today.

We need all those concerned to step up and include the children –whose rights we are working for, in their efforts, said Mr. Chapman.

A member of Plan’s Youth Advisory Group in the UK will be joining Education First’s Youth Advocacy Group to advise on the roll out of the initiative and Plan’s global BIAAG campaign will be part of the support.

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