My name is Anjali. I'm currently a student studying for my GCSE's , and this summer I've been campaigning with Save the Children and Send My Friend to School.
Like many other kids, I have missed months off school due to Covid-19.
The pandemic has changed the way we learn over the past few months. We usually thrive off face to face contact with our teachers. However, without any contact, it's only natural that we felt anxious about going back to school. I felt so behind and didn't know whether I was going to catch up. The loss of my traditional routine has massively shaken up my day-to-day life. Most of us have also lost some of our social skills whilst being at home.
I tried to remember there was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel and we would see our family, friends and loved ones again. I was lucky enough to have access to a computer but many disadvantaged kids in the UK were unable to get hold of one. Not only does this widen the inequality gap between children in the UK, but it will also impact their futures. If we take a minute to think about how precious our education is, where we would have been without education. Learning does not only educate us on the world, it opens new doors and opportunities for us. These doors aren't open to every single child.
Joining the Global Hangout
Many of those kids are not going to see a teacher, classroom and school book again.
This shocking reality is what motivated me and many other kids to join Save the Children’s Global Hangout. We took a part so minsters could hear from us, the kids who are actively affected by their decisions. We had to tell them what needed to change. Getting involved with Save The Children was the highlight of my summer. It was a perfect opportunity to help fight and protect right to an education of all children around the world.
Women already face many challenges and Covid was an extra barrier stopping them from their right to learn. Before Covid, girls were exposed to child marriage, child labour and sexual exploitation. The most vulnerable and marginalised might never go back to school. It is predicted that over 9.7 million children are not going back. As many countries face the brutal consequences of climate change, poverty, war and conflict, this number is going to increase if we do nothing to help.
The role of the UK
Our country can do more. It’s crucial we globally invest in children’s future. On one hand, the UK will benefit if we could help every child read and write. On the other hand, we can play a key role in reducing extreme poverty by 12%. This is a staggering statistic but it's very real.
Investing more is what our government should be doing. Disadvantaged children deserve an education as much as we do. It's a basic human right.
Speaking up is key when it comes to education. It is the one thing we have for the rest of our lives.
Everyone's education differs. But the main goal is to give every child the opportunity to learn. The global hangout was a step in the right direction. Every meeting and speech we do, we are giving children a voice, and a chance of having a better life.
You can support Anjali by signing the petition to protect education around the world
Notes from the editor
- We are proud that this project was done in collaboration with the Send My Friend to School coalition.
- The policy asks in this blog represents the views of the young activist and does not necessary reflect the policy calls of Save the Children UK.