My wife and I recently attended a graduation in Monroe, a pre-school graduation. I love graduations for the power of the moment and the wisdom often imparted. This was different in scale of the participants, but did not disappoint. The teacher/owner of the school took the time to read some quotes from the kids. My favorite was from a little boy, “When people help people, that’s a real man.” They sang a few songs, including “If you’re happy and you know it” and they were happy. Preschool is so important for academic success. I think of all the students who don’t have the opportunity because of the expense and am glad there is a movement to make free universal pre-kindergarten the law. The President has called for it, New York City is working on it, and citizens can demand it from their elected representatives. Education is the key to choices in life and a healthy democracy.
Outside of America, 57 million children have no education. Terrorists seem to fear education of children, particularly girls. The attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai and the kidnapping of the Nigerian schoolgirls illustrate this. The world has been outraged by these events and wonders what to do about them. Meanwhile, the Global Partnership for Education has been working with developing nations to create plans to put all children in school. These sustainable plans have put 22 million children in school, with developing countries footing 90% of the bill. To continue this work, the Global Partnership for Education is holding a funding conference in June to raise the $3.5 billion that will put 29 million more children in school over the next four years. America’s pledge of $250 million will inspire other donors to help reach this goal. While not the largest pledge, this contribution shows America’s commitment to education. With education comes lower birth rates, less disease, less conflict, and increased income that leads to new trading partners. The terrorists don’t like education because they can’t recruit new people for their movements.
Once again, we can do something about this. Call the President (202-456-1111) and ask him to make this pledge to the Global Partnership for Education. Imagine the smiles on the faces of the new students, finally getting their chance. Or just feel good about exercising your rights as a citizen in a democracy. Either way, education will make the world a better place, and you will have had a hand in it.