World Vision Bangladesh collects 1.5m signatures for #UpForSchool Petition
Up for School or #upforschool campaign
When World Vision Bangladesh decided to get involved with the #UpForSchool campaign, it sprang into action and activated a network of children, parents, teachers and community and religious leaders.
It shared messages on child forums, held youth rallies, went into classrooms, visited markets and went door to door in villages across the country.
The result? An incredible 1.5 million signatures collected for the #UpForSchool Petition, a youth-led demand for world leaders to keep their promise to get every child into school and learning without fear of danger or discrimination. That has helped take the total signatures collected to more than 4.5 million.
Shabira Nupur of World Vision Bangladesh (WVB) said: “Regardless of gender, religion, class, or caste all people have the right to have an education.”
As part of Word Vision International’s global humanitarian mission to ensure the wellbeing of children, the Bangladesh team works to improve access to and quality of education in a country where 1.5 million children remain out of school.
There has been progress – since 2000 Bangladesh has doubled the number of children completing primary school and more girls now attend school than boys. But dropout levels remain high and too few children move into secondary education, with many girls missing out on schooling because they get married young and have children.
Shabira – who is WVB’s National Advocacy Coordinator (Child Protection & Education) – said: “Safety in schools is still an issue, especially for girls, and the quality of education is a big question. To create pressure on the Bangladesh government and global leaders to invest in education, WVB decided to take part in the #UpForSchool campaign.
WVB shared the idea with its senior management team and developed a roadmap to make the biggest contribution possible. It shared this plan with its regional management, technical team, area development programmes (ADP) and Special Projects (SP).
Shabira explained: “We made sure the staff and volunteers collecting the signatures knew all about #UpForSchool. Then we shared the message with children and their families and in child forums.
“We conducted youth rallies, went into schools to collect signatures from teachers and students, and held sessions for community leaders, religious leaders and development workers.”
#UpForSchool signatures collected by World Vision Bangladesh
All that hard work has paid off with WVB collecting 1,512,596 signatures! They came from several regions – Central, North Bangla, Southern Bangla, Mymensign and Ain O Salis Kendra.
Among the people who signed were children, teachers, parents, government officials, journalists, volunteers, businesses, community organisations and WVB staff and committee members.
Faruque Ahmed, a teacher from Kalkini, said: “It is a good initiative to mobilise children effectively and it will remind teachers to have effective classes to help the learning capacity of children.”
Israt Jahan, a student at North Sutalori High School in Morelganj, Bagerhat, said: “It is a nice way of raising our voice against all the kinds of discrimination we are facing. I am very happy to be a participant in this campaign.”
And Mohibullah Kazi, Secretary of the Central Child Forum in Kotalipara, added: “This campaign will help the Forum’s aims of lessening the dropout from school due to early child marriage and child labour that will ultimately give access to education for all.”
The #UpForSchool Petition will be handed to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. The amazing efforts of organisations like World Vision – an active member of the Global Faiths Coalition for Education – will ensure that millions of peoplem from around the world have their say on the need to get all children into school.
Ben Hewitt, A World at School’s Director of Campaigns and Communications, said: “World Vision is working tirelessly with the most excluded and marginalised communities around the world. It is inspiring to see them supporting and empowering young people to stand #UpForSchool and bring about change by making sure the voices of children and youth are heard by world leaders.”