April 21, 2010
Washington D.C. - As part of Global Action Week, a series of events around the world focused on ensuring universal basic education, the Global Campaign for Education, U.S. today endorsed the bipartisan Education for All Act introduced by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY). The bill is co-sponsored by Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA). This landmark legislation would help achieve universal basic education for every child in the world by 2015 - a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) that more than 192 U.N. member states agreed to achieve. Five years before this deadline, 72 million children, mostly girls, remain out of school.
Jessica Alba also launched the 1GOAL: Educational for All campaign to make education for all the lasting legacy of the first-ever African FIFA 2010 World Cup Education for All. Bringing together fans, soccer stars, celebrities and World Cup organizers FIFA, the campaign led by the Global Campaign for Education calls on world leaders to give every child the chance to go to school. As Honorary U.S. Co-Chair of 1GOAL, Alba has just returned from a listening and learning trip to Africa to see how U.S. funding for global education is changing the lives of children and helping beat poverty in developing countries.
Also speaking in support of the EFA Act and 1GOAL were National Education Association Vice President Lily Eskelsen and American Federation of Teachers Vice President and President of the Toledo Federation of Teachers Francine Lawrence.
The legislation unveiled today would provide for the creation of a Global Fund for Education, a goal that President Obama supported as a presidential candidate.
“All children deserve access to basic education, which helps them escape poverty, realize their potential, and live healthier and happier lives,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “Educated societies are also more secure and more democratic ones. That is why it is in our national interest to work with other nations and organizations to ensure children have access to basic education services.”
“I’m honored to join Congresswoman Lowey to announce the Education for All Act,” Alba said. “I traveled to Ghana, Senegal and South Africa with 1GOAL to listen and learn and see for myself the impact of education. I met children who work to support their families, but dream of going to school, and families who told me that providing an education for their children is their only way to beat poverty.”
While President Obama pledged during his presidential campaign to work toward Education for All and create a Global Fund for Education, the only significant policy shift on global education to date is to reduce U.S. funding of bilateral basic education programs by $90 million in the FY2011 budget.
“The Global Campaign for Education, U.S. applauds Congresswoman Lowey’s leadership and tireless advocacy on behalf of 72 million children,” said Joanna Kuebler, director of the Global Campaign for Education, U.S. (GCE-US). “Ensuring access to a quality education means a way out of poverty for millions of children. It means healthier outcomes for families in developing nations. And it means a path toward a safer world. Supporting Congresswoman Lowey and the EFA Act isn’t just the right thing to do, its smart policy. And, we thank Jessica Alba, a fierce champion of education for all, for her unyielding commitment to this issue and to the world’s children. 1GOAL will be instrumental in helping secure education for all children around the world. “
Simultaneous 1GOAL events will occur across the U.S. and the globe during Global Action Week, April 19 - 25. The 1GOAL events will bring together teachers, students, celebrity spokespersons, soccer teams, and other education advocates to teach the “Lesson for All” in support of Education for All. 1GOAL events will continue in the U.S. and throughout the world in the months leading up to the World Cup, with the goal of holding world leaders to promises made for MDG education goals. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan is a 1GOAL Co-Founder And Global Co-Chair.
“This summer, millions will watch South Africa host the World Cup,” Alba said “We’re asking people around the world to lend their voice to the 72 million children out of school and call on our world leaders to pledge the funding necessary to achieve education for all.”
The EFA Act is supported by GCE-US members including: RESULTS/RESULTS Education Fund, National Education Association, Global AIDS Alliance, American Federation of Teachers, National Peace Corps Association, Global Action for Children, Islamic Relief, School Girls Unite, United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, Connect To Learn, A Global Education Initiative of The Earth Institute, Ericsson & Millennium Promise, and the ONE Campaign.