1 August, New York – Amid the education crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations is partnering with children’s charity TheirWorld on the #LetMeLearn campaign to urge world leaders to hear the voices of young people and put in place the plans and finance required to provide a quality education for every child.
“Across the globe, education is in crisis,” warned Secretary-General António Guterres, noting that: “This is a slow burning and often unseen crisis, but it has profound consequences for individuals, societies, and our collective future.”
Reeling from the disruption caused by the pandemic, hundreds of millions of children and young people are still out of school. Many of those who are in school are not learning the basic skills they need, as citizens and participants in society. Many more are questioning the relevance of their education systems and curricula for today’s world.
A global survey, commissioned by Theirworld, shows more than two-thirds of youth polled feel that leaders are betraying their promise to provide quality education.
Justin van Fleet, the group’s President, said: “Global education is facing a crisis of equity, quality and relevance. Currently, education is a privilege, not a right, and denied to children based on factors beyond their control at birth.”
The launch of the #LetMeLearn campaign is intended to build momentum towards the Transforming Education Summit on 19 September. World leaders will set out a new vision for education that equips learners of all ages and backgrounds with the skills, knowledge and values they need to thrive, and decide what action needs to be taken to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (quality education).
Gordon Brown, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, describes the historic summit as “global education’s COP26 moment – a last chance for action to avert an education catastrophe” for a generation of young people directly impacted by the pandemic, the climate crisis, conflicts and many other challenges.
Organizations and individuals can take part in the #LetMeLearn campaign by creating and sharing short videos in the coming weeks. Campaign guides and assets can be found here.