Kofi Annan on Girls' Schooling

From: edequity@phoenix.edc.org
Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 10:36:40 EDT

Forwarded from Aviva by Linda Purrington, Title IX Advocates,

Kofi Annan Demands Action on Girls' Schooling - In Vain
Source: BBC World Service, 28.4.00 Website: http://www2.unesco.org/wef

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, opening the World Education Forum
meeting in Dakar in April,accused politicans of failing
children--particularly girls--and ignoring human rights. He did not hide
his frustration that communities are being denied a future labour force
of healthy, literate, and employable citizens. The Forum was unable to
give a good report on its promise in Thailand in 1990 "to provide
primary schooling for all by the year 2000." On the contrary, 125
million children have never been to school, and another 150 million have
been forced to drop out of education in the past decade
before they can read or write - two thirds of the excluded are girls.
There have been some advances, particularly in Asia, but lack of action
in general means that the poorest 1 billion in the world remain
uneducated. Education activists blame the complacency of political and
financial elites, who refuse to spend the required $8 billion--the
equivalent of 4 days of global defence spending--that would provide
free education for all. Sub-Saharan Africa, with over 40 million
children not in school, spent on average $12 billion a year on debt
repayments in the 1990s, three times the amount spent on education. In a
recent review of 16 countries, 12 had cut education budgets. India, with
more children out of school than any other country, spends twice as much
on arms as on basic education. Pakistan, with a huge gender gap in
education, spends 6 times as much. The leaders of UN agencies, 181
government delegates, the head of the World Bank and other global
financial institutes reaffirmed education as a
basic human right - and made new pledge to achieve universal primary
education--by 2015. But they failed to back an international action plan
to commit more money to guarantee results--issuing instead a vague
commitment of good intent.
Source: BBC World Service, 28.4.00 Website: http://www2.unesco.org/wef

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