Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown MP, brought back a message from Africa for local schools in West Lancashire.
After meeting Nelson Mandela, the Chancellor is calling on all local schools - teachers and pupils - to link up with Africa in the battle to secure every child an education.
100 million children do not go to school - and Gordon Brown says that West Lancashire schools can boost the campaign for Education For All.
The DFID Global School Partnerships Programme, which is funded by DFID and managed by a consortium of the British Council, Cambridge Education Foundation, UK One World Linking Association and Voluntary Services Overseas, seeks to encourage students as part of the school curriculum to learn more about their counterparts in the developing world.
• UK schools are encouraged to develop innovative and sustainable partnerships with schools in developing countries. Thousands of schools both in the UK and developing countries can benefit from grants available under the scheme for teachers, and pupils in secondary schools and sixth form colleges, to visit each others' schools and develop shared activities.
• With a new global dimension to the curriculum, British children will be able to share learning with children from other nations, taking part in web discussions, discovering new facts about the wider world and broadening horizons.
In addition schools can get involved through Comic Relief who have announced that Education For All will be the major feature of Red Nose Day next March, and will be mailing over 25,000 schools about the importance of the campaign and plans for activities that will start in September, helping schools around the world work together to get every child into school.
In a letter sent to each school, Gordon Brown sets out the initiative together with the pamphlet he has issued making the case for education for all.
In his speech in the presence of Gordon Brown and two British schoolchildren, Nelson Mandela said to children in Britain:
“You can make a difference by your actions, you might think you are powerless but if all of the children of Britain act together you can be more powerful than any Government. You can tell your parents, your teachers and your school to join the campaign to ensure promises are kept, school by school, child by child.
“I expect each of you to remind my friend, Chancellor Gordon Brown, that you are expecting Britain to continue to lead in the fight against poverty and do everything in its power to ensure every child can go to school."
“You can be the generation that sees every child get the education that is their basic right. World leaders have promised this and you must make sure they keep to it by joining together to speak with one voice. You are the future of this world and can change it for the better.”
Gordon Brown told Rosie Cooper MP:
“In the next eighteen months we should encourage more schools, and then colleges and universities, to join the crusade for education so that no matter your birth or background, every child in every part of the world should have the chance to realise their potential, to bridge the gap between what they are and what they have it in themselves to become, and so to enrich the world."
"This is a call to action where churches and even businesses can link up with schools; and community groups, here in Britain, can connect with parents and communities in Africa.”
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“This is an opportunity for our schools and pupils to help children who do not get the opportunity to go to school, to get an education."
“Education is one of the most basic human rights and it is to the world’s shame that so many children are denied the opportunity to learn."
“I call on all schools in West Lancashire to get involved in the Education for All initiative by getting involved in the programmes to link up with schools in Africa and by taking part in the Comic Relief activities."
”Together we can achieve education for all children, a goal that will not just be to the benefit of those individual pupils but to the world as a whole.”