The United Nations Secretary-General launched the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) in September 2012 to spur renewed efforts to reach global education goals.

By rallying a broad spectrum of world leaders and advocates, GEFI aims to raise the political profile of education, inspire new partnerships and mobilize additional funding to deliver on the promise of Education for All.

The initiative focuses on three priority areas:

  1. Put every child in school.  Education is a human right. Yet advances in education have not benefited everyone equally, leaving some 57 million children out of school. Barriers to school enrollment and completion must be removed.
  2. Improve the quality of learning. An estimated 250 million are not able to read, write or count, whether they have been to school or not. Urgent action is needed to ensure children have the skills they need to thrive in life and work.
  3. Foster global citizenship. Education must be transformative, cultivating respect for the world and each other. It should provide children with the understanding they need to cooperate in resolving the interconnected challenges of the 21st Century.

In the words of the Secretary-General, “when we put Education First, we can reduce poverty and hunger, end wasted potential – and look forward to stronger and better societies for all.

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