In a speech to the UN last year, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for a bold international initiative to educate the world's poorest children. Gordon Brown advocated "long-term predictable funding to finance long-term education plans" to realize "schooling for all". Brown said:
The British prime mininister speaks of an inspiring new goal that cries out for American leadership. Both John McCain and Barack Obama would be well advised to make it the foundation for a new kind of US foreign policy.
And let me tell you why I believe schooling for all can be achieved. Education is not only the most economically efficient and socially beneficial investment we can make but also the cheapest and most cost effective. For in the developing world it costs just 100 dollars per child per year for schooling. Just 2 dollars a week. And so to finance all the schools and teachers we need costs 9 billion dollars a year.
For every person in the richest part of the world that is less than two pence a day, or four cents, a day. If every person in the rich world contributes 10 pounds - or 20 dollars - a year today, we could meet our education goal tomorrow.
Photo: I took the above photo in May 2008. It shows Indonesian school children run across a rice field in central Java.