Sarah and Gordon Brown share global education vision in 100th episode of Better Angels podcast

Sarah and Gordon brown
Theirworld Chair Sarah Brown with husband Gordon, UN Special Envoy for Global Education

Gordon Brown, Sarah Brown

Sarah and Gordon Brown share a vision – that one day the education crisis will be over and every child will be able to fulfil their potential. 

In a special 100th episode of Sarah’s Better Angels podcast – released today to mark World Children’s Day – they speak passionately about the need for a global response to this emergency.  

Theirworld Chair Sarah invited Andrew Jack, global education editor of the Financial Times, to interview her and husband Gordon, former UK Prime Minister and long-serving United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education. 

Listen to the episode here

They both address the crisis that has left 260 million children out of school and hundreds of millions more not receiving a quality education. They stress the need for early years learning for all and giving young people the skills needed for work of the future. 

Gordon describes the current education emergency as “the most longstanding and neglected crisis of all”. He adds: “It makes me incredibly angry to think that today all the aid in the world that we provide for education – and most people in advanced countries think that they’re incredibly generous – is about $15 per child in sub-Saharan Africa, hardly enough to pay for a second-hand textbook.” 

He speaks about the recent launch of the International Finance Facility for Education, an innovative way to help under-resourced countries deliver quality schooling to millions. 

“On the face of it, things look very difficult,” he adds. “But what gives me hope is young people determined to do more.” 

Once someone is given the chance of education, it changes their life forever.

Gordon Brown

Sarah talks about Theirworld’s Global Youth Ambassadors, a network of 2,000 young activists in more than 120 countries. She says: “They don’t just want to invest in their own education, they want to campaign and make sure it’s available for others.” 

Asked what can be done to help students beyond traditional basic skills, Sarah lists investment in teachers and more emphasis on technology. She adds: “I think young people want to be excited about what they’re learning and make it relevant for the world that they live in now.”

Better Angels, the podcast that champions the activist spirit, was launched six years ago. Featuring stories from globally renowned activists, campaigners, comedians, youth and world leaders, Better Angels has also produced four special episodes this year to mark Theirworld’s 20th anniversary. 

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