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Global campaign for education breaks world record


The world’s biggest ever lesson took place on wednesday, with 7.5 million children, adults, teachers and politicians in over 100 countries taking part.

The World's Biggest Lesson focused on providing a quality basic education to everyone, but especially the 72 million children and 774 million adults who are currently missing out. All over the world politicians and ministers went back to school and were taught by children before being asked what they planned to do to make sure everyone gets a quality education.

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is still collecting verification forms from around the world, but an early count shows that the world record has been broken.

The total attempting the record is at least 7.5m people. The country with the highest recorded count is Bangladesh, with 2.5m people taking part in over 25,000 different locations across the country. Millions also participated in lessons in Vietnam and, in an impressive campaigning effort, a million joined in from Palestinian.

Celebrities, heads of states, and officials took part across the world. Award winning singer Shakira gained international attention as honourary chair of Global Action Week, both on a media call with UK prime minister Gordon Brown and World Bank president Robert Zoellick, and as she lobbied Congress with students in Washington.

"The most promising reason to believe that the world will achieve its goals of Education for All by 2015 has been the emergence of strong civil society movement and this mobilization of millions of children, women and men during the Global Action Weeks each year," noted Kailash Satyarthi, GCE President. "We will not fall silent until we have ensured quality education for all."

"One in four women in the world are illiterate. It's not right, and it's not just. The Global Campaign for Education has been demanding an end to this injustice since 2000," added Muleya Mwananyanda, GCE action week coordinator. "By having legislators and government leaders join in the World's Biggest Lesson, we are challenging them to share with us what they are doing to ensure others get educated, and have the opportunities to be sitting where they're sitting now."

The World's Biggest Lesson was the highlight of the Global Campaign for Education's (GCE)'s Action Week this week which is designed to pressurize all governments to keep their promises and meet the Education for All goals, which were signed up to by 164 governments in Dakar in April 2000.

With the phenomenal success of the World's Biggest Lesson, 2008 is the biggest Action Week since the beginning of the campaign in 1999.


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