The first annual Education for All day held on Friday 21st June 2013 was a great success. Over 50 schools, 26,000 young campaigners and 1,600 teaching staff took part to raise awareness of the barriers to education worldwide. Several of the schools who took part in EFA day attended a conference on December 8th 2013 at the National Union of Teachers headquarters in London. The objective was for young people to meet, share and discuss what they did for EFA day, what worked well and how to make EFA day 2014 bigger and better.
A number of the attending schools held a ‘stall’ which displayed resources and images displaying their campaigning efforts on EfA Day. The stalls were visited by all attending pupils offering a fantastic opportunity to visualise the activities and efforts by others in their shared campaign towards Education for All. For example, students from Gustons CoE Primary School in Dover partner with Bhagwati School in Nepal. The schools exchanged letters written in Nepali and English discussing the barriers to education the pupils in Bhagwati School faced. The pupils at Gustons realised that two of the biggest challenges their fellow pupils in their partner school faced were the distance they had to walk to school and the fact that they had no furniture and so lessons were taught on the floors of classrooms. On EFA day, the pupils therefore organised an early-morning walk around a local park (apparently it was very cold and foggy)imitating a long walk to school and experienced what school would be like if lessons were taught with no desks, spending the remainder of the day working sat on the floor. Learning about young people so eager to participate in demonstrations that exemplify social empathy is fantastic and very inspiring.
Gustons CoE Primary School are one of many EfA Day schools who are partnered with a school overseas, sharing experiences and working across continents on curriculum based projects. Please contact us if your school is interested in partnering with a school overseas, it’s a very rewarding and enriching experience for young people working together with their international peers.
A common action in attending schools and in 70% of schools that took part in EFA day was to write to Prime Minister David Cameron, illustrating the importance of EFA day and urging him to prioritise education in the international agenda.
The Steve Sinnott Foundation’s education team, Nicky Anastasiou and Penny Clayton did a fantastic job leading the activities on the day, engaging pupils and teachers alike in activities that, rather than demonstrating the differences between pupils, enabled them to think about the similarities they shared as students in the UK.
Eilidh Naismith and Billy Davidson will be hosting a Scotland based EfA Day conference on Monday 9th December at their school, Hutcheson’s Grammar in Glasgow. The conference will challenge participants to demonstrate how they would improve education opportunities for children in a developing country. The conference will conclude with the winning school walking away with £500 to put their plan into action. We’re extremely proud of Eilidh and Billy for their enterprising spirit.
Lastly, the Steve Sinnott Foundation would like to give a massive thank you to: Farnborough Grange Primary School, Hampshire; Ringwood Secondary School, Hampshire; Dore Primary School, Sheffield; Hutchesons’ Grammar School, Glasgow; Simon Langton Girls School, Kent; Gustons CoE Primary School, Dover; Cherbourge Primary School, Suffolk; Broadstone Middle School, Poole and Grange Primary School, Ealing for attending and making the conference such a great success. It is ideas like theirs and of every school that took park in EFA day 2013 that will ensure EFA day 2014 will be more successful, more engaging and most importantly, will raise even greater awareness about Millennium Development Goal 2 and the right to Universal Primary Education.