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HH Sheikha Moza participates in panel discussion during EAA session at WISE 2021
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate, spoke at a panel discussion during the EAA plenary session at WISE 2021, where she discussed EAA Zero OOSC strategy, the importance of educating every child and the need to engage all sectors to break down barriers to achieving universal primary education.
The plenary session, titled “Educate Every Child: Zero OOSC,” featured a high-level panel discussion with Her Highness, UNESCO Director General, Audrey Azoulay, and the Vice-President of The Gambia, Dr Isatou Touray, with a virtual intervention from the President of Rwanda, HE Paul Kagame, after the panel.
During her discussion, Her Highness stated that “education is the birthright of every child” and the key to solving prevailing socioeconomic issues, adding “It is a means by which we instill culture and identity…[and] an enabler to uphold upward socioeconomic mobility. If we have educated children, we have an educated nation and a protected economy.”
However, many countries have still not reached universal primary education. As it stands, more than 59 million primary-aged children have no access to education worldwide. EAA’s Zero strategy offers a pragmatic solution to target individual countries and, through multisectoral partnerships, reach every child out of school.
Her Highness highlighted how countries are chosen for their commitment to education and their willingness to work towards the goal of Zero Out of School Children, concluding that “the pandemic disproportionately increased the burden on disadvantaged children. But, we came together as an international community and developed a vaccine – an antidote to this virus. Education is the antidote to our social pandemics, like intolerance, inequality, poverty.”
The Gambia, Zanzibar, Djibouti, and Rwanda mark the first countries in the world to join EAA’s global Zero OOSC strategy, which was announced by Her Highness during WISE 2019. EAA’s EAC program will aim to work hand-in-hand with a select number of countries to close the gap on universal primary education by identifying and enrolling the most invisible, hard to reach children.