On a visit to St Gabriel’s School this week, Richard Benyon heard Year 7 and 8 students speak about the right to education for children everywhere in the world and was presented with over 90 messages pressing for change.
The students were taking part in the ‘Send my friend to school’ campaign, sponsored by the Global Campaign for Education. St Gabriel’s is one of over 4,000 UK schools supporting this campaign to highlight the fact that 37 million children are missing out on education in crisis-affected countries across the world.
Richard Benyon said, ‘I was very impressed by how passionately the pupils viewed education. They saw it as a universal human right which should be accessed equally across the globe. Many of them admitted that at times they had taken their education for granted and recognised the inequalities of education in less developed countries.
‘I was able to tell them about my recent visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where in some provinces 42% of children never attend school and, for those who do attend, it is common for students to walk over ten miles to get there.
‘I will be forwarding these messages to the Minister of State at the Department for International Development to urge him to continue to support this campaign. The UK is already at the forefront, having pledged £30 million to the Education Cannot Wait fund set up by world leaders with the aim of helping children whose education has been disrupted because of conflict, natural disaster or health emergency.’
NOTES: more information on ‘Send my friend to school’ is available from www.sendmyfriend.org.