#LetMeLearn campaign: world leaders must listen to young people on education
Global Youth Ambassadors, Let me learn
Theirworld’s campaign - backed by the United Nations - is launched as our survey of 10,000 youth shows that education systems are failing a generation.
Theirworld launches a major campaign today to mobilise young people to demand world leaders take the action needed for every child and adolescent to receive a quality education.
#LetMeLearn calls for the experiences and voices of young people to be heard by international decision-makers attending the historic Transforming Education Summit at the United Nations next month.
The campaign is backed by the UN and a wide network of civil society partners across the world. It’s launched as Theirworld also reveals the findings of a global poll of 10,000 young people in 10 countries, which shows that education systems are failing a generation and leaving them unprepared for the future.
Education is in crisis, with 260 million children not in school – the majority of them girls – even before the pandemic. In rich and poor countries alike, millions more are in school but let down by a lack of support for teachers, outdated curriculum and a lack of digital connectivity.
#LetMeLearn aims to address that by putting the voices, concerns and ideas of young people front and centre on the world stage.
Leaders at the summit, held during the UN General Assembly in New York, will be making decisions on how much to invest, how to spend the investment and how to transform education. We want them to sit up and take notice of the calls for action.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “#LetMeLearn is a campaign to make sure world leaders attending the Transforming Education Summit pay attention to the voices and opinions of learners.
“Through this campaign, the diverse experiences and views of young people and lifelong learners everywhere will feed into the discussions, decisions and outcomes of the summit.
“I pledge to listen, learn, discuss and act on the views and experiences shared through the campaign – and to encourage world leaders to do the same.”
Gordon Brown, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, said: “I have been listening to young people and they all have one single message: #LetMeLearn. It is it time that we take this message seriously and bring their message to the halls of the United Nations.”
He said the summit is “global education’s COP26 moment – a last chance for action to avert an education catastrophe”.
Theirworld’s survey paints an alarming picture of the state of education across the world. It shows that:
- 77% of young people are “worried” by the prospect of poor education leaving millions of children without basic reading or writing skills by 2030
- 69% say world leaders are not doing enough to ensure all children receive a quality education
- 88% think leaders need to take urgent action to fund education
However, young people remain optimistic, with 76% believing that youth can change the world through campaigning and making their voices heard.
“The right to education should never be compromised by anyone,” said Miranda Ekema Ndolo, 26, a campaigner from Cameroon whose education was disrupted by conflict.
She added: “I call on leaders, governments, policyholders and stakeholders to create a safe environment for education. I am an achiever today because of my education.”
Theirworld President Justin van Fleet said: “The decisions world leaders make at the Transforming Education Summit will affect the lives of hundreds of millions of children around the world and reverberate through every community on the planet.
“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.
“It’s time for world leaders to listen to young people and take the action today. Time is running out and inaction is not an option.”
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