HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser at the meeting.
HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser yesterday spoke at the “2015 Education Countdown: Failure is Not an Option” high-level plenary session to urge the global community to drive further targeted efforts for innovative funding models and increase focus towards universal primary education for millions of disadvantaged children.
The high-level plenary session was moderated by UN special envoy for global education Gordon Brown.
In her remarks, HH Sheikha Moza argued that universal primary education had not been prioritised.
She noted that “education has been forgotten and has been a policy orphan. We are now seeing the impact of this neglect and for the first time since the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were launched in 2000, Unesco reported an increase in the numbers of out-of-school children to 58mn. Half of these are living in conflict zones”.
HH Sheikha Moza added that this summer saw over 116 schools had been bombed and destroyed in Gaza, and statistics from Save the Children were showing that 2.8mn Syrian children were now out of school.
She called on the international community to realise the potential of education as an enabler of sustainable global development..
Sheikha Moza then asked the audience why basic education had been unable to mobilise more support from the business sector. “Education benefits all areas of development. Education makes good economic and business sense; every dollar invested in primary education generates $10-$15 in economic returns. The costs of not educating out of school children far outweigh the investment needed.”
Brown echoed her views on the importance of increasing focus on universal primary education. He also praised the work of Educate a Child. “It is tempting to talk about the future goals between 2015 and 2030, but in my view, the credibility depends on us doing everything in our power to achieve the existing ones. Educate a Child is the biggest foundation outside government to do the most to achieve the goals of universal education.”