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World record broken for biggest lesson

More than 7.5 million people took part in the Global Campaign for Education's (GCE) "World' s Biggest Lesson", breaking the world record for the largest simultaneous lesson.

 The lesson focused on the importance of providing quality education to everyone 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 to attend the lesson taught by children. During the lesson they were asked what they planned to do to ensure quality education for all.

The country with the highest attendance was Bangladesh; with 2.5 million people taking part in over 25,000 different locations across the country. Millions also took part in the lesson in Vietnam and in an impressive campaigning effort, one million took part in the lesson in the Palestinian Territories. 

Celebrities, heads of states and officials took part in the lesson across the world. The highest profile student was Colombian singer and Grammy award winner, Shakira.  She generated international attention as Honourary Chair of Global Action Week, along with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and World Bank President Robert Zoellick, as she lobbied congress with students in Washington DC. 

“I find it so inspiring that there are so many young people who care so deeply about the rights of all children to go to school that they would bring about this global movement,” said Shakira.

“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 mobilisation of millions of children, women and men during the Global Action Weeks each year,” noted Kailash Satyarthi, Global Campaign for Education 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,” noted 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 Action Week which took place 21 – 27 April. Every year, organizations across the world take part in the campaign, pressurising governments to meet their “education for all goals”. These 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 Global Campaign for Education in 1999.