Banbury students quiz government Minister

Five Year 10 pupils from The Warriner School, Banbury, yesterday furthered their successful Send My Friend to School campaign by grilling a Government Minister at the Department for International Development on getting every child into school by 2015.

David Tucker, Kit Lamb, Lydia Kitchen, Kirstin Boomer and Alex Clacy travelled to London to express their concern about over 60 million children worldwide who are missing out on school. They had a private meeting with Alan Duncan, new Minister for International Development to quiz him on what the UK government is doing to get Education for All.

Meeting at DfID

The lobbying meeting took place in Alan Duncan’s office at the Department of International Development (DfID) in Westminster, following a visit to their school by their local MP, Tony Baldry. Mr Baldry was so impressed with the students’ passion for and engagement with the issue that he set up this meeting to allow them to take their concerns straight to the relevant Minister.

The pupils presented their campaign to Mr Duncan and asked him questions such as how the UK is intending to reach their particular target of 11 million more children in education by 2015.

He spoke of DFID’s commitment, particularly to girls education and funding 190,000 new teachers in some of the world’s poorest countries. He also reiterated the government’s commitment to 0.7% aid target.

Young voices get heard

It is great to see their enthusiasm to help others. They really know their stuff…

Alan Duncan said: “It is great to see their enthusiasm to help others. They really know their stuff and understand the world of International Development. I applaud them for their energy and encourage them to keep it up.”

Alex Clacy, 14, said afterwards: “As youths, people often have low expectations of us. But this meeting showed that politicians do listen and think of us as important.”

David Cameron has been asked by the UN Secretary-General to chair a committee to decide what comes next after this goal expires in 2015, and what new goals and promises to make. The Global Campaign for Education strongly believes that education is the route out of poverty and that universal primary education must remain a top priority for governments around the world.

Photo: Russell Watkins/ DfID