September 19, 2016

"The presence of so many influential people was overwhelming and the Education Commissioners gave us interviews"

GYAs Taha Fathima Khan (third from left) and Ousmane Ba (far right) meet Education Commission Youth Panellists in New York

Ousmane Ba and Taha Fathima Khan

Global Youth Ambassadors reporting from the UN General Assembly

A World at School's Global Youth Ambassadors (GYAs) are a network of passionate advocates in 85 countries around the world.

Two of them - Taha Fathima Khan from India and Ousmane Ba from Sierra Leone - are in New York this week for the launch of the Education Commission report and the United Nations General Assembly.

Their GYA Journal will tell each day what they've done, who they've met and how they're promoting the cause of education for all. This blog post was written by Taha. 

We’ve had a packed day! Despite the exhaustion associated with a 20-hour hour flight, excitement and adrenaline worked like caffeine and kept me charged the entire day.

We started with a morning meeting with Eleanor, Yara and James from A World at School. After which Ousmane and I headed off to brunch with the Youth Panelists of the Education Commission.

Some of the panellists are or were GYAs themselves. All of them come from diverse backgrounds. We discussed their role in the commission report as well as their ideas about education.

We almost lost track of time and so had to rush to the UN HQ for the launch of the Education Commission report. It was held inside the Trusteeship Council.

We had some time to speak to a few of the Education Commissioners, such as Julia Gillard, Anant Agarwal, Kailash Satyarthi, Baela Raza Jamil, Teopista Birungi Mayanja, Ju-Ho Lee, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Theo Sowa.

The presence of so many influential people was overwhelming. Some of the commissioners were more than happy to give us interviews.

The launch started with a beautiful and chilling poem by Emil Mahmoud, an award-winning poet. The report was then introduced with each of the commissioners giving the current statistics and recommendations in a Q & A format.

The different aspects of education such as finance and technology were covered and discussed in detail.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, citing his own personal experience during civil war, received the recommendations positively.

The launch ended with another chilling - but more hopeful - poem by Emi.

We then proceeded to UNICEF's vigil just outside the UN to highlight #ChildrenFirst. It was heartening to see the immense support and turnout for the event.

With that we wrapped up our day.

  • Act
  • Related Stories