Yesterday we welcomed Tommy Sheppard MP to school for a special P7 assembly in support of the Send my Friend to School 2016 campaign.
Send my Friend is an annual event which encourages young people in the UK to learn about pupils around the world who miss out on their primary education, and then share what they have learned with others. (There are also similar events in other countries as part of the Campaign for Global Education.)
The number of children who miss out on primary education has halved over the last 15 years – from 110 million to around 58 million.This represents great progress, but there is still a large block of children (living mainly in the very poorest parts of the world) who are not receiving any education at all.
Rather than raising money, the campaign is about raising awareness and encouraging young people to understand some of the reasons why so many children around the world still do not get the education they deserve.
Over the course of the project, our pupils have learned about various issues such as poverty (including the difference between relative and absolute poverty), inequality, refugees and international development (aid) – complex topics which they will go on to study in more depth at high school.
Rather than being given right or wrong answers, studying these issues allows pupils to develop their own informed view of the world.
The campaign also encourages young people to raise the issue of global education with world leaders, to ensure that all countries continue to make universal primary education a priority. This month, pupils from schools across the UK have been contacting their local MP and inviting him or her to similar awareness raising events, and we were delighted that Tommy was able to attend Preston Street to hear what we had to say.
Prior to Tommy’s visit, our P7 pupils had been visiting other classes to teach them more about the project.
This was an excellent learning experience, both for the P7s who were able to share their learning, and for the children in these classes.
It also meant that the audience were well informed prior to the start of our assembly!
Additionally, pupils created campaign materials which are currently on display in the P7 class.
These will be sent to Tommy at the end of the school year as a reminder of the children who are still missing out on their right to an education.
During the assembly, our pupils spoke confidently and eloquently about global education and a range of related issues.
Tommy then kindly agreed to visit the P7 classroom for a short question and answer session, in which he answered pupils’ questions on a range of topics related to global education in an open and interesting manner, showing a great interest in the views of all our pupils.
We would like to thank Tommy and the P7 parents who came to support this event, as well as the P3-6 classes who provided such an interested and engaged audience!
If you would like to know more about Send my Friend and the Campaign for Global Education, please visit their fascinating website, www.sendmyfriend.org