Philanthropic community to promote education for all


Credit: © The Earth Institute, Columbia University
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute.

By Anna Azaryeva

NEW YORK, USA, 28 February 2011- This week the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convenes a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York entitled, “Partnering with the philanthropic community to promote education for all.”

Participants hope to accelerate progress in achieving education for all children around the world by engaging supporters from the private sector and philanthropic world to help fund and promote global education initiatives.

UNICEF Radio moderator Amy Costello spoke with Professor Jeffrey Sachs on the role of philanthropy in achieving education for all and about the transformative effects that technology is having in classrooms across the globe. Professor Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and is moderating the closing session of the event.

Listen to the Podcast in Streaming MP3 format

Financial support is key to keeping girls in schools

‘Most countries in the very poor world cannot afford to provide free access to secondary education,’ said Professor Sachs. ‘Even the Millennium Development Goals fall short of what they need to be because they only talk about primary education.’

In Ethiopia, explained Professor Sachs, the Nike Foundation provided scholarships for young girls who passed the eighth grade national exam, which enabled them to go on to secondary education. ‘In this particular village, no girl had ever graduated high school in the history of the village, so this was a start,’ explained Professor Sachs. The example of these girls has triggered a change in their community.

In addition to financial support, young people need to benefit from a quality education, the interconnection and access to the Internet to help with a real curriculum that meets their needs.

‘We don’t have the adequate level of philanthropy or government support to make this general but I would put it at the top of the list of things that the world needs to do,’ said Professor Sachs.

The role of companies in the development process

‘I am a huge believer in the role of companies to help the development process’, said Professor Sachs. ‘Sometimes it is because they are lending their technology, sometimes it is through scholarships. We need these partnerships.’

It is key for the private sector actors, explained Professor Sachs, not only to be generous but also to forge strong partnerships with the expertise and the host countries and host communities to make sure their work yields positive results.

For more information visit ECOSOC


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