Ireland’s politicians and pupils are supporting #UpForSchool Petition

Up for School or #upforschool campaign

Cross-party support for #UpForSchool at Irish Parliament

Whether it is a bake sale or a talent contest – Ireland is #UpForSchool. The challenge to collect 10,000 signatures for the #UpForSchool Petition from across Ireland is now in full swing.

With Senator Fidelma Healy Eames at the helm, the campaign has already attracted the support of more than 40 parliamentarians, many of whom are championing the petition in their own counties.

Senator Healy Eames explained: “Whenever we discuss the importance of education around the world and why every child should have access to education, we always get a heartwarming response from the people of Ireland. Of course we need to do more than just talk about it, we need to act to ensure it happens.”

#UpForSchool Launch at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway. Senator Fidelma Healy Eames, Michael Hannon,…

Posted by Upforschool/ireland on Thursday, 5 March 2015

The #UpForSchool Petition is a youth-led campaign calling on world leaders to keep their promise to ensure every child in every country is at school – without fear of danger or discrimination.

In January, Women In Parliament – a global network of more than 9000 female parliamentarians – appointed Senator Healy Eames as education champion for Ireland. She has recently returned from a Women in Parliament conference in Ethiopia.

She said: “I am very happy to take the lead on the #UpForSchool campaign. The number of children not in school by right is an important global challenge. While it is not a problem specific to Ireland, we need to have solidarity with our fellow children around the world.

Education minister Jan O’Sullivan signs #UpForSchool

“Girls are a particular concern. Until all girls have access to education and learning, we will not have the right conditions for gender equity. Until then the whole of society loses out.”

The campaign was kick-started by the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, with many senators and cross-party politicians in attendance at Leinster House in Dublin. This was followed by a national launch in February at the Human Rights Centre in Galway.

Caroline Duggan, a passionate educationalist and campaigner organiser for Galway, said: “Professor Michael O’ Flaherty, an Irish academic, human rights lawyer and a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC), gave a moving and inspirational speech to a packed audience of schools, teachers and parents, as well as students from the Human Rights Centre.

“As a result, everyone there was clearly very energised and ready to get cracking collecting signatures to demand all children go to school.”

Twenty-six schools from across Galway have committed to taking the #UpForSchool Petition out to fellow students, teachers and the wider community.

Caroline added: “Schools in Galway are now working tirelessly on the petition. Just this week a school invited parents and former students to an X Factor talent show where they collected signatures from everyone in the audience.  

“A primary school also plans to get the petition forms out at a cake bake sale and craft fayre. The level of activity is just brilliant and I have to say well done to them!”

The campaign will also focus on building signatures on its web page and on Facebook to achieve the 10,000 target.

With the global total for #UpForSchool now well past five million, Senator Healy Eames said: “It’s phenomenal. Really wonderful news.

“Five million people around the world stating that it is the duty of world leaders to ensure all our children are in school and that education is a right is a positive step for humankind.”

You can sign the Ireland #UpForSchool Petition here.

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