On Friday 29th May pupils at Preston Street Primary School became teachers for a day as they hosted a special assembly designed to teach parents – and Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard – about the campaign to provide primary education for all the world’s children.
The P5 pupils delivered a series of speeches and presentations in support of the Send My Friend to School 2015 campaign, which helps to raise awareness of the estimated 58 million children around the world who miss out on a primary education.
At the finale of the ceremony, pupils made a presentation to Mr Sheppard using models of over 200 world leaders – created by all the school’s pupils.
The 'leaders' contain individual messages which each pupil has written to the UK Government, reminding them of the continued work which needs to be done by governments, charities and individuals across the globe in order to give all children access to primary education.
P5 teacher Simon MacLean said: "As a school, we have supported the Send my Friend campaign for a number of years now.
"The key strength of the campaign is that it encourages young people to take an active role in helping to improve the lives of others.
"While charitable giving is an important part of school life, it’s important that our young people realise that complex global issues can’t always be ‘fixed’ simply by donating money.
"Pupils are encouraged to find out as much as possible about the reasons why young people in various parts of the world are not able to attend school, so that they can develop an informed view on the subject.
"As pupils learn more about the subject of global education, poverty and inequality, they are better able to raise awareness among their friends and families, and within the wider community."
"By doing this, they feel empowered and will ultimately be better equipped as adults to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems in the future." Head Teacher Maureen Allan said: "It has been great to see our young people engaging with global citizenship in such an active and inspiring way.
"Our pupils are really keen to ensure that all young people across the world have the right to an education. Events like this encourage pupils to be responsible citizens and participate actively within a democratic society."
Tommy Sheppard MP said: "58 million children out of education is a tragic waste, however is it inspiring and heartening to see the pupils of Preston Street Primary working so hard to help and encourage their fellow children around the world."
"It is my hope that I and my fellow SNP MP’s can encourage the UK government to make more of an effort to help those children who still miss out on an education"
"I really enjoyed hearing from pupils about how they think we can improve education for children in some of the most deprived parts of our world, and what they think we can do to tackle it. Many of the pupils are well on the way to becoming our politicians and world leaders of the future!"
Campaign for Global Education – www.sendmyfriend.org