Ministers will read pupils’ opinions on UN campaign
PUPILS at the Beacon School in Chesham Bois have been involved recently in the ‘Send My Friend to School’ campaign. It was very good to be able to visit the school on the global day of action, Friday, June 26 to meet students and their teachers. I took away with me a collection of their letters which express their appreciation of how important it is that all children should receive an education.
I could not agree with them more. When I was young, my mother always impressed on me how essential education is: she used to say that, whatever else happens in life, no-one can take away what you learn and you will keep your education with you forever.
The background to the ‘Send My Friend to School’ campaign is that world leaders will be meeting at the United Nations, later this year, to make decisions about children’s education. The letters from the boys at the Beacon School will be given to ministers at the Department for Education, so they are aware of how young people at school here in Buckinghamshire feel about the situation and what should be done on a global scale.
The pupils I met were also very concerned about the delivery of the UN Millennium Goals. These are eight aims for achievement by this year. They cover issues from tackling extreme poverty to health care. One of these targets is universal primary education.
We talked about the inspiring figure of Malala Yousfzai, who was attacked and seriously injured as a result of expressing her views about the importance of education for girls. Malala is continuing her work on this issue as well as going back to her own studies. She has been extraordinarily brave – but no-one should have to be brave to ask for the right to education.
My thanks to Arabella Norton, the head of religious studies at the Beacon School, who invited me to visit during the day of action. It is encouraging that students at our schools are thinking hard about ways to tackle global problems and about the right of every child to learning.
Cheryl Gillan MP for Chesham & Amersham