Friday, July 4, 2008

The strongest antidote to terrrorism

With the news that 9 armed terror suspects have just been arrested in Indonesia, it's a good time to ask ourselves what can be done about it. I think this problem is not likely to go away as long as millions of impressionable young people in countries such as Indonesia are equipped with poor reasoning skills.

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:

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.

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.

Photo: I took the above photo in May 2008. It shows Indonesian school children run across a rice field in central Java.

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea - a lot, and hope the candidates focus more on education as the campaign goes on. But there needs to be more than just collecting the money. We also need to ensure that the money is used on students, and not on administrative or governmental graft.


Because all comments on this blog are moderated, there will be some delay before your comment is approved.