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Theirworld GYAs' youth statement

#LetMeLearn GYAS with logo

TRANSFORMING EDUCATION – THE CASE FOR URGENCY

Our voices are united and demanding #LetMeLearn

We are 2,000 young people united in our ambition to end the education catastrophe for ourselves, our peers and children everywhere. Our voice is stronger together. We are united in solidarity for the 260 million children out of school and those who are ready to learn but who are continuously being let down by poorly supported teachers, outdated curriculums and a lack of digital connectivity.

World leaders: you’re not doing enough. Our education is under-funded, often unsafe and treated as unimportant. The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the way that we see the world and the potential for how we can work together, and we cannot go back to the way things were before. With competing crises and priorities, we need you to see education as the solution, as we do, and move beyond empty promises.

Around the world, we are leaving school without the skills needed to thrive in the wake of mass unemployment, job losses and economic uncertainty for so many countries. We need updated curriculums, trained and supported teachers, and improved learning materials, so that we can solve the world’s most pressing challenges, like the climate crisis. We need inclusive technology that is accessible to everyone and will address the widening inequalities as learning shifts online.

School fees have locked us out of learning, while lack of investment in education, government corruption in some areas and the cost of education resources, including books and uniforms, have seen quality opportunities reserved for the privileged elite. Education facilities, starting from early childhood, need funding so that we aren’t forced to attend schools with no bathrooms or playgrounds, so that learning is accessible for those of us with disabilities and reaches children in rural communities.

School should be a place of safety, but our schools are dangerous. Our teachers have been attacked by rebel groups, our classrooms destroyed by climate disasters and our classmates threatened with gender-based violence. Safe places to learn should be guaranteed from pre-primary level so that every child can have access to the same opportunities. They should be places where we are treated with dignity, have access to nutrition, mental health support and the right to play.

The Transforming Education Summit on 19th September 2022, led by the United Nations Secretary-General, is a moment of truth for education. We cannot continue down the path that we are on. The scale and speed of the global education crisis impacts all of us, and if not acted on, threatens the fundamental right to education for an entire generation.

We are frustrated with negotiating and trying to convince you to care enough about education to act. We want to see greater investment in education that actually reaches those who need it most, and we want to see it now.

It is our future. We are not in positions of power, yet. We don’t know everything, but we have seen what has not worked in the past. We do not have to repeat the same mistakes, and we do not have the luxury to wait until tomorrow. Let us learn. Let me learn.

It is our future. Let us learn. Let me learn.

Theirworld's Global Youth Ambassadors

In June and July 2022, Theirworld surveyed over 600 of its Global Youth Ambassador (GYA) network and delivered a consultation process which more than 200 GYAs took part in. They shared their determination, passion, and perspectives on the education challenges, potential solutions, and the role world leaders need to play in ending the education crisis. All of this created their case for urgency: a message from GYAs that tells the story behind the critical need for change now, and calls upon leaders at the Transforming Education Summit this September to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

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