July 07, 2015

World leaders urged to act on education as #UpForSchool Petition hits 8m signatures

Ewan Watt

Online Editor, Theirworld

Hellen Griberg and Ban Ki-moon #UpForSchool

Ban Ki-moon with Hellen at the Oslo summit today

A World at School Global Youth Ambassador Hellen Griberg shared the demands of eight million people as she addressed world leaders at the Oslo Education Summit today.

Norwegian Hellen, 23, addressed the gathering and highlighted the growing number of children out of school around the world.

She said: “This is a civil rights movement led by young people demanding our right to an education. We need to see urgency and political leadership equal to the scale of this crisis. It's time for action."

Hellen Griberg with Norway PM Erna Solberg

Hellen with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg

After her passionate speech. Hellen met United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg to pass on the messages from people around the world who have signed the #UpForSchool Petition.

The petition, launched by A World at School, is calling on world leaders to take urgent action to get every child into school. It is aiming to be the largest petition ever and urges those meeting in Oslo to deliver education to children in conflict or emergency situations as a priority.

More than one million signatures were added in the past week after Angry Birds released a new #UpForSchool tournament to support the campaign and global star Justin Bieber became the latest celebrity to sign and asked his fans to do the same.

Malala Yousafzai and Ban Ki-moon at Oslo summit

Malala Yousafzai and Ban Ki-moon at the summit

The Canadian singer joins an illustrious list of celebrity and famous signatories Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Shakira and Rod Stewart.

In a speech to the Oslo summit's opening day yesterday, Mr Ban said: "I welcome the #UpForSchool movement - they have enlisted the Angry Birds. My grandson loves that game so I asked him what they are so angry about. He said they blow up pigs but when it comes to education they are angry at injustice”.

Petition signatures have been collected all around the world by young people and organisations. Muslim Aid has collected more than 1.8 million signatures in Gaza, Lebanon and other countries.

Hellen Griberg makes speech to Oslo Education summit

On stage at the summit making her speech

Education network Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) has collected 1.6 million signatures in Pakistan and World Vision and BRAC collected 2.7 million in Bangladesh.

A World at School Campaigns Director Ben Hewitt said: “We know that nothing changes without pressure. This is a global movement led by young people around the world and supported by a diverse network of faith groups, businesses, charities and campaign organisations - all coming together to demand world leaders to keep their promise and get every child into school.

"Every day a child is out of school they are at risk of child labour, early marriage and deeper poverty.”

Join the movement of eight million - sign the #UpForSchool Petition now.

And find out more about Hellen's time at the Oslo Education summit 

We are a global children's charity committed to ending the global education crisis and unleashing the potential of the next generation.

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