UN special envoy urges int’l community to tackle education crisis



United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown has called on the international community to take action to tackle an emerging education crisis.

Elaborating on the education crisis, Brown, also former British Prime Minister, said that half the developing world’s children, which totals about 800 million, are leaving school without qualifications.

“There are probably 30 million refugee children, more than 23 million displaced children, and 75 million children living in conflict zones,” he added.

He noted that the majority of them were either not in education or in only very irregular schooling.

According to Brown, who is also chair of the Education Cannot Wait Fund, it is important to give them hope that they can prepare and plan for the future.

“If we do nothing, we will leave a generation of discontented, angry young men and women.

“The streets of the Middle East and the streets of Africa will be full of uneducated and unemployed young people.

“We have all got to come together as a coalition under Education Cannot Wait,” the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crisis, Brown said.

Education Cannot Wait is a new global fund to transform the delivery of education in emergencies — one that joins up governments, humanitarian agencies and development efforts to deliver a more collaborative and rapid response to the educational needs of children and youth affected by crises.

The international non-governmental organization aims to reach all crisis-affected children and youth with safe, free and quality education by 2030.

“We have got to raise the money that is necessary to ensure that we can actually see, as we say, in the Sustainable Development Goals, that every child, refugee child, displaced child, every single boy and girl is going to have the chance of an education,” said the special envoy.

Brown  said that the fund was now working in a large number of countries.

“It’s been a first responder, most recently in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.

“It’s been one of the first to act in Bangladesh. It’s dealing with the crisis in the Sahel (region),” he said.

Brown also suggested a world bank for education be created.

“If we do not invest in young people in Asia or in the Middle East or in Africa, and do not deal with young people given the circumstances they’re facing, which is sometimes child labor, sometimes child marriage, sometimes child trafficking, if we don’t deal with these grievances, then we will have an unstable as well as unsustainable and unequal world for the years to come,” said the special envoy.

“People can survive many days without food, but cannot survive a minute without hope.

“Let’s join forces to help those vulnerable children without access to education, and inject hope in them,” he said.


Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

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