Speaker advocates for education for all

Myra Schoen
Special To The Black Mountain News

Did you know that around the world a staggering 263 million children and youth are out of school? And tens of millions more can't read a single sentence?

What if you could change their future?

Ken Patterson, director of Global Grassroots Advocacy for RESULTS Educational Fund, will discuss the simple advocacy steps you can take to be part of the solution on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Black Mountain Public Library.

“The right to education for children is not just supported by international law, it is supported by common sense,” Patterson said. “Education offers children the opportunity for healthier, safer, more prosperous futures. It lifts individuals, families, and nations out of poverty and servitude to create more enlightened, healthier and productive societies.”

In places like South Sudan, a teenage girl is more likely to die in childbirth than to graduate from high school. Out-of-school girls are three times more likely to be infected with HIV than girls who remain in school. The more education children receive, the greater their future potential for health, raising themselves above poverty, achieving independence and resisting human trafficking.

The Global Partnership for Education makes education a reality for more children, uniting government leaders in lower-income countries with international donors, private sector foundations, corporate funders, and communities. The coalition develops, funds and builds lasting national education plans and systems to educate the most vulnerable children, from preschool through high school, particularly in countries affected by fragility, poverty, disease, and conflict.

The Global Partnership for Education is the only organization of its kind dedicated exclusively to education in the world's lowest-income nations. Since 2002, the partnership has helped secure education for 64 million children in its partner countries. Those countries allocate a full 20 percent of national government expenditure to education annually, while financing from partner nations and private and corporate funders bridge the critical gaps.

“With advocacy from RESULTS, the U.S. government has made increasing annual investments in the Global Partnership for Education since 2011, helping to drive its success,” Patterson said. “Now we must generate greater awareness and support in Congress and with the administration so that the U.S. is prepared to make a leadership commitment to GPE at a pledging conference to be held on Feb. 2, 2018.”

Patterson's mission is to encourage community leaders and concerned citizens to contact their legislative representatives to support bipartisan GPE resolutions: House Resolution 466 and Senate Resolution 286, which acknowledge the importance of global education and petition Congress to go on record in support of these resolutions and GPE's plan to put an additional 25 million children through school between 2018-2020.

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