Communications News: Education appeal gets MPs back into schools

Two-thirds of the nation's MPs were coaxed back to school by the Global Campaign for Education last Friday to raise awareness of the 100 million children worldwide who don't receive an education.

The campaign is a worldwide coalition of hundreds of development and education research charities, including Oxfam, Save the Children, VSO and World Vision, to increase governments' funding for education.

It convinced 450 MPs to visit schools in their constituencies for its first 'MPs Back to School Day', during which 150,000 children at 1,500 UK schools lobbied their local MP about the restricted availability of education worldwide.

The MPs involved included International Development secretary Hilary Benn and Education secretary Charles Clarke.

Ruth Stockdale, an Oxfam campaigns officer who co-ordinated the event, said: "After mailing every MP and school in the UK, I hope this will put pressure on the Government to take action."

The day follows the commitment made in 2000 by 182 governments, including the UK, to achieve primary education for all by 2015, and to ensure the provision of equal education between the sexes by 2005.

The coalition said the current rate of progress meant it would take 150 years before these targets were met.

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