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					     Asia & Pacific

Asia & Pacific
From Pakistan to the Philippines millions of children, and adults
united in the action to JOIN UP and make human and paper
Often working against the odds campaigners rallied, debated
and got huge coverage in the media. Not even volatile political
situations in Bangladesh, elections in the Philippines and a
tsunami in the Solomon Islands deterred education campaigners,
who came out in their masses to rally for Education Rights.

                                            JOIN UP - Education Rights Now! 33
                Asia & Pacific
   AFGHANISTAN                                                                                                                                                        INDIA
   With only 17% of Afghan women being able to read             Bangladesh                                                                                            More than half a million people from all walks of life
   and write, Education for All is at present a distant dream                                                                                                         including teachers, parents and children became the
   in Afghanistan. During Global Action Week UNESCO                                                                                                                   campaigners in the 13 states of India during the Action
   organized a photo exhibition which paid homage to                                                                                                                  Week 2007. They took on policy makers, asking them
   leading Afghan defender of girls’ education, Safia Ama                                                                                                             to ensure full enrolment, retention, gender parity and
   Jan, who was murdered in 2006 for her activism.                                                                                                                    quality education.

   BANGLADESH                                                                                                                                                         A huge number of campaigners took part in a round
                                                                                                                                                                      table discussion, sending postcards, and rallies. As a
   An amazing turn out for activities in Bangladesh                                                                                                                   result, the state Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Governor
   resulted in 1.2 million people uniting with the                                                                                                                    of Madhya Pradesh state and Members of Legislative
   Education for All Movement, who called for fresh                                                                                                                   Assemblies went back to school, attended public
   commitments to establish everybody’s Right to                                                                                                                      hearings and signed declarations on education.
   Education. The main activities included a human
                                                                                                                                                                      Early school drop out is a problem in India, with
   chain, rally, discussion forums, roundtables, courtyard
                                                                                                                                                                      around 13 million children being trafficked and forced
   meetings, sports and art competitions as well as essay
                                                                                                                                                                      into labour and commercial sex. Focusing on this,
   writing competitions.
                                                                Cambodia                                                        DAY OF CHILDREN
                                                                                                                                                                      campaigners culminated in New Delhi submitted a
                                                                       PHOTO REPORT                                             THE 58TH ANNIVERSARY                  Memorandum of Demand to the President, Prime
   CAMBODIA                                                                       ON
                                                                   ACTIVITIES OF CHILDREN
                                                                                                                                OF CHILD RIGHTS DAY
                                                                                                                                1ST JUNE,2007
                                                                                                                                                                      Minister, and Human Resource Minister, India.
                                                                    OF PKO YOUTH CENTERS                                                        For Children
   Actions culminated in a big National Hearing which


   took place at the National Institute for Education in                       

   Phnom Penh. 2,000 children, students, and government                                        A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PKO!!!

   representatives came together and discussed Education        The Puthi Komar Organization “PKO” was created in 2005 to pursue and develop the actions
                                                                implemented since 1997 by the international organization Enfants Réfugiés du Monde (Refugee

   as a Human Right before standing side-by-side in a           Children of the World). Thanks to the commitment and competence of the Khmer team, PKO provides
                                                                amusement and education for the children in four youth Centers located in the province of
   human chain. Messages from the children were passed
   along the chain to the Secretary of State for Education,
   H.E. Im Sethy.

                                                                    By Ms. Florence Brochoire, child in Chamka Samrong Center

                                                                Our Vision    Happy childen receiving better education, within an actively involved community which
                                                                guarantees a safe social and economic environment

                                                                Our Mission    Contribute to improve education and life standards for children and sensitize the
                                                                communities to encourage active participation in their children’s education

3 Global Campaign for Education
                                                                                                             Asia & Pacific
INDONESIA                                                   the need for students to understand their fundamental
                                                            Right to Education.
A series of advocacy activities were carried out in                                                                      Throughout the week the Pakistan Coalition for
Jakarta, Malang, Kupang and Musi Banyuasi District to                                                                    Education (PCE) organised seminars, press conferences,
raise public awareness and support for the Education        NEPAL                                                        public walks and a human chain to shed light on
for All goals. There were colourful parades of students     A vibrant mix of education stakeholders participated         Education Rights, across 45 districts. More than 10,000
and teachers who carried placards demanding                 in a press conference at the beginning of the week in        signatures were collected from people demanding ‘Free
education, and performed sketches demanding                 Nepal. The week continued with a school enrolment            Good Quality Education’. Posters in Urdu advertised
Education for All to education officials and politicians.   campaign where thousands of children enrolled in             Action Week and more than 50,000 people became
                                                            schools. A Big Human Chain for Rights to Education           aware of the Action Week theme Education as a Basic
Round table discussions between university lecturers,
                                                            was made up of human rights and education activists,         Human Right.
students and education policy makers, discussed the
                                                            journalists, teachers, and government officials, students,
Right to Education. Throughout the week children                                                                         Policy makers, public representatives and key
                                                            out of school children, teachers, and local workers. The
were central to the activities and were encouraged to                                                                    officials attended the events, including Provincial
                                                            chief guest was Education State Minister, Mr. Mohan
take part, have fun and express their opinions about                                                                     Education Minister, Imran Masood who demonstrated
                                                            Singh Rathore who expressed that the education
education.                                                                                                               commitment and the Education State Minister, Anisa
                                                            policy was incomplete and there needs to be proper
                                                                                                                         Zeb Tahirkheli who led a walk through Islamabad.
                                                            management in the whole system.
JAPAN                                                       Rights Activists quoted ‘Let’s begin the development of
                                                                                                                         Progress is urgently needed in Pakistan, where only
The activities in Japan centred on students meeting the                                                                  53% of the population is literate. In demand of action
                                                            ‘New Nepal’ with the rights of children’. Street drama,
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso. They handed over                                                                     now, campaigners formed a human chain outside the
                                                            pictures and painting shows by children on education,
human-shaped paper cut-out chains, in solidarity with                                                                    Parliament House, and people marched in Islamabad,
                                                            schools and teachers took place. And a beautiful huge
all the campaigners around the world and appealed                                                                        Lahore and Karachi.
                                                            canvas painting on last year’s theme ‘Every Child Needs a
to him to improve and expand Japanese aid for basic         Teacher’ was hung and grabbed attention.
education. They reminded him of the promises made                                                                         Pakistan
by governments back in 2000 in Dakar to meet the            An interaction program on the Rights to Education was
Education for All goals.                                    carried out. A paper on major education issues of Nepal
                                                            was presented. There was utmost participation of all the
                                                            eight political parties and other Education Stakeholders
MALAYSIA                                                    including the Ministry of Education.
To raise awareness on the importance of education, 600
people visited an indigenous settlement in the remote
area of Rompin. Parents in the community expressed
concern about challenges to education for indigenous
children such as language barriers, poverty and children
being needed to collect fruit, and high drop out rates,
during the fruit picking seasons.
Children participated in an art competition themed We
Must Go Back to School. At the end of the programme
children created paper chains in support of the Right to
Education for all. There was also a Special Assembly at
St Anthony Secondary School at Teluk Intan, Perak for
990 students and 60 teachers, where teachers explained
                                                                                                                                                JOIN UP - Education Rights Now!    3
                Asia & Pacific
   PHILIPPINES                                                “It is my right to be loved by my teacher, it is             SRI LANKA
   The call to, JOIN UP for Education reverberated amid the
                                                              my right to eat so I can learn better in school,
                                                              and It is my right to read, write and play”.                 Campaigners in Sri Lanka successfully conducted a
   Philippines’ election campaign. E-Net Philippines used                                                                  media campaign, an essay competition, an oratory
   the timing to their advantage, engaging in dialogue        Children in the Philippines.                                 contest, formed a long human chain and prepared a
   with the election candidates and presenting them with                                                                   dossier on the Right to Education. Parents, teachers
   an Education for All legislative agenda. In the extreme
   summer heat campaigners unravelled a giant banner
                                                              SOLOMON ISLANDS                                              and students took part enthusiastically in the national
                                                                                                                           competitions and in the local debates on education
   reading Education is a Human Right, and chanted:           About 30% of children are out of school in the Solomon
   ‘Hawak Kamay para sa Edukasyon!’                           Islands, partly due to the high cost of schooling, and the
                                                              distance to schools for rural communities.
   Children from different schools, religions and regions,
                                                              Due to the tsunami hitting the Solomon Islands on the
   and even children not currently in school came
                                                              2nd April, Action Week did not take place as planned in      More than 2,000 people from 25 regions took part
   together to take part in the Action Week events. In
                                                              April. But un-deterred campaigners managed to rally          in the Action Week. Two children represented the
   Quezon City children drew pictures of education and
                                                              schools to get involved in June, and hold a big event in     campaign when they spoke about what education
   schools. In the north, children climbed the mountain
                                                              September for International Literacy Day.                    meant to children in Taiwan and called the public to
   Mt. Pulag in a major effort to JOIN UP for education
                                                                                                                           sign petitions asking the government to deliver on the
   rights. And in the south Action Week was celebrated        “The school believes it is the responsibility                Education for All goals.
   with the ‘sama di laut’ or people of the sea.              of all parties, parents, teachers and the
                                                              government to make education accessible                      On the Officials Back to School Day government
   Finally a unique workshop was held on Mapping
                                                              to every child, regardless of race, creed and                representatives joined hands with children inside the
   Education Situations of Marginalised Sectors in Rural
                                                              social status in society. The rights based                   school gates. They signed pledges to promote quality
   and Urban Areas, as part of the Education Watch, Real
                                                              approach to education is the only way to                     education for all in Taiwan and around the world,
   World Strategies in Jakarta.
                                                              achieve Education for All by 2015”.                          to raise the education budget, to improve teachers’
  Philippine                                                  Principal of Perch Christian School, Solomon Islands
                                                                                                                           working conditions and pre-school education.
                                                                                                                           Throughout the week’s activities children learnt not
                                                                                                                           only to cherish the education resources in Taiwan, but
                                                                                                                           also to take social responsibility to fight for everyone’s
                                                                                                                           education rights.
                                                                Solomom Is                                                  Taiwan

3 Global Campaign for Education
                                                                                                               Asia & Pacific
THAILAND                                                    UZBEKISTAN                                                    VANUATU
Thai law stipulates free, quality compulsory education      An online forum was a place used by school                    A number of exciting activities took place in Vanuatu
for all, yet this is not yet a reality. In want of          representatives to discuss how to achieve the Education       as part of Global Action Week. The public got to hear
enforcement of the law, nearly one thousand paper           for All goals by 2015. School teachers and policy             about the Action Week through news stories in the
chains were made by children during the JOIN UP rally       makers shared valuable knowledge and experience on            Vanuatu daily news which covered feature stories over
in Thailand.                                                how education could reach marginalised students.              the course of five days.
The rally started with the Seas Gypsy communities in        A drawing contest united children of all ages, who            Two hundred people came to listen to a public forum
Phang Nga. Many in the community have suffered              submitted work depicting what could be achieved               on Education at the Water Front Stage of Port Vila
from social stigma from not being educated until new        in life, schools and home with the help of education.         Vanuatu, where the audience participated and young
schools were built after the 2005 tsunami. Yet children     Among the awarding winning pieces were pictures               people sang about education.
still feel marginalised. One girl’s message on the chain    entitled: ‘Knowledge Will Defend Me’, and ‘Every school
                                                            day is an opportunity to learn new and interesting things.’   The Port Vila Municipal Council flew Action Week
read: “I want the teachers to be kind to us”.
                                                                                                                          banners at the entrance of Port Vila Town. And it was
In Bangkok children joined a massive JOIN UP rally at                                                                     outside this that campaigners made their human chain
the Thailand Knowledge and Santichaiprakran Parks                                                                         and demanded Education Rights Now!
where they expressed their views for better education,
good books, clean schools and good grades.
All the paper chains were collected and delivered to                                                                      Throughout the week thousands of children across the
the Prime Minister during the start of a new school year                                                                  country took part in Action Week events, and presented
in mid-May – giving him strict homework to keep the                                                                       to officials from the Ministry of Education including a
government’s promise on Education Rights.                                                                                 Vice Minister of Education. The highlight of the week
                                                                                                                          was a national forum which was held to bring attention
                                                                                                                          to the disadvantaged children, ethnic minorities, and
                                                                                                                          the issue of HIV/AIDS in education.


Thailand                                                   Thailand

                                                                                                                                                 JOIN UP - Education Rights Now!    37

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