8 July 2010
President Jacob Zuma has called on football fans to help make the legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup last beyond the soccer spectacular by supporting the 1 Goal initiative.
Zuma says the World Cup must focus global attention on “education for all,” with a planned summit on the cards to solidify this.
The two-hour summit, to be attended by African Heads of State and Government, senior officials of the United Nations and African Union as well as several eminent persons and football stars, will take place before the final match on Sunday.
In a statement, Zuma called on all South Africans and the world to support the event, saying on the playing field of life there is nothing more important than the quality of education.
“We want education to be the lasting legacy of the 2010 World Cup, as the first World Cup soccer tournament on African soil.
“We urge all nations of the world to mobilise in every corner to ensure that every child is in school, especially at the primary school level. The Summit is intended to emphasise that message,” Zuma said.
The humanitarian campaign 1 Goal aims to harness the World Cup to win support for delivering education to an estimated 72-million children who are currently missing out.
Improved access to schooling
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has reported that access to schooling in developing countries has improved since 1990.
About 47 out of 163 countries have achieved universal primary education and an additional 20 countries are estimated to be “on track” to achieve this goal by 2015.
However, huge challenges remain in 44 countries, 23 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. These countries are unlikely to achieve universal primary education by 2015 unless domestic and international efforts are accelerated substantially.
Globally, an additional 42-million children have entered primary education since 2000, notably because of increased political leadership and national resources for education. However, progress has been slow and formidable challenges remain.
Approximately 72-million children are still denied their right to education and 759-million adults lack basic literacy skills.
The project has been underway since late last year, with the support of world leaders, including UN chief Ban Ki Moon, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Jordan’s Queen Rania, and others.