UK Schoolchildren Urge World Leaders to Tackle 1.7m Global Teacher Deficit

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Schoolchildren across the UK are invited to take part in the Send My Friend to School campaign to put pressure on world leaders to close the global teacher gap.

United Nations estimates reveal a global shortage of 1.7 million teachers, with one million professional teachers needed in Africa alone.

As part of the Millennium Development Goals world leaders made a pledge that every child would receive a quality primary education by 2015, but there are still over 60 million children missing out on a basic primary education, with millions more struggling to learn in crowded classes with unqualified teachers.

Zione, 10, who attends Chikowa Primary School in Malawi, said: "In our class there are 154 of us. When we write we have to write on our laps.

“There are so many of us that when I write someone can bump against me and I make mistakes because we are so cramped together."

In Ethiopia, Honduras and Sierra Leone less than half of all teachers have received any training, and Nigeria needs 25% more teachers.

The 2013 Send My Friend to School campaign, organised by the Global Campaign for Education UK involving child rights activists, teachers’ unions and development organisations from around the world, is urging teachers and pupils to get creative and remind world leaders that every child needs a teacher with the help of a resource pack.

This free resource pack, for key stage 1-3, includes a campaign DVD, teachers guide, case studies, fact sheets, posters, teacher cut-out templates and stickers, for pupils to create their ‘ideal teacher’ figures to give to MPs to present on their behalf to the Prime Minister.

Nicola Cadbury, from Global Campaign for Education UK, said: “Every year Send My Friend to School brings together thousands of UK school children all speaking up for the right to education across the world.

“We are always moved by the creativity and passion we see from UK pupils and urge everyone to keep working towards this important goal.

“There are just two years to go now to meet the Education For All (Millennium Development Goals) target. If we are to get 60 million more children into schools with decent-sized classes, they must be taught by adequately paid, well trained and motivated teachers.”

To sign up to the campaign and get a free Send My Friend to School pack visit www.sendmyfriend.org

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