Education Must Be Prioritised

More than 60% of Bury schools have been hit by coronavirus outbreaks (as reported in the Bury Times on 13th October), forcing children to learn from home and teachers to innovate and react to the differing demands this presents.

As a Governor of a local school, I know just how hard teachers and head teachers are working to support children both in school and those learning whilst isolating at home. It’s testament to the passion and drive that teaching professionals have for the young people whose lives they are helping to build. We see time after time evidence of the power of a good education on life chances.

Young people in Bury share this with students around the world; their education is being disrupted by the pandemic, with over 90% of students worldwide affected by school closures. The impact of the pandemic on education systems and on young people’s learning and wellbeing is massive, with 580 million children out of school, according to UNESCO. School closures hit the world’s most marginalised children the hardest, including girls, children with disabilities, and those fleeing conflict.

We know that strong education (and health) systems provide people with the skills, knowledge and wellbeing needed to achieve their full potential. That’s why Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals — a set of 17 targets agreed in 2015 by all countries and applied in all countries — is ‘A Quality Education for All’.

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In the last four years, Bury South’s and Bury North’s combined contribution to the UK development budget has supported 23,342 children worldwide to get an education. That’s 23,342 steps towards eradicating global poverty. The UK governments continued support for education programmes, through the UK’s development budget, is therefore crucial to fulfilling all young people’s potential. It is ever more vital at a time when the pandemic threatens education across the globe. We should be showing our support for such efforts.

Cameron Fay, Whitefield

Member of RESULTS Manchester

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