Min­is­ters will read pupils’ opin­ions on UN cam­paign

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

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

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