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Mirrored classroom display highlights scale of massive education crisis

Mirrored classroom display highlights scale of massive education crisis

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Sep 2019, 10:31 am

New York: A non-profit dedicated to exposing the severity of the global education crisis has been inviting delegates to the UN General Assembly inside a tiny mirrored installation this week, to drive home the reality that around 260 million children are missing from classrooms around the world.

Beginning 22 September through the end of next week, the Infinity Classroom exhibition by non-profit, Theirworld, will sit in the UN Plaza, open to visitors. The mirrored room is filled with what appear to be an infinite number of empty school desks - representing the millions of children out of school every day.

The station is the centerpiece of Theirworld’s #WriteTheWrong campaign, geared at building awareness of the global crisis and mobilizing the political will and financial support that is needed to give every child a chance to achieve their potential. 

Founder and Chair of the NGO, Sarah Brown, said on Thursday: “The world has the largest number of refugees and displaced people since the Second World War, half of whom are children”, speaking to UN News, on a panel for the UN’s annual discussion series, dubbed the SDG Media Zone.

“We owe them what we want for our kids - a safe place to learn. That’s why we’re calling on all countries and international institutions to make education a priority”, Brown said. 

More than a thousand visitors have passed through the Infinity Classroom, during the UN’s high-level week, according to the NGO, including heads of government, senior officials, activists and celebrities. Meanwhile, the #WritetheWrong campaign has seen major funding breakthroughs. 

On Wednesday donors and foundations announced more than $200 million for the global fund, Education Cannot Wait, to make school possible for millions of children caught up in conflicts, disasters and displacement crises.

In addition, guarantees of $500 million and grants of $100 million for the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), another education funding resource, will allow an additional $2 billion to be mobilised to get children into school in the "missing middle" - countries which lie between the developing world and rich nations.

"This is the largest amount unlocked for education in a single day because IFFEd multiplies donor resources and unleashes new funding streams", said Theirworld President Justin van Fleet. He sounded an optimistic note that “it is entirely within our reach to end the global education crisis.”

“If nothing changes, by 2030, more than half of the world’s 1.6 billion children won’t have basic skills to get an entry-level job or participate in society”, van Fleet added. “We are at a crossroads and we must act. It is within our reach to end the global education crisis." 

Photo caption and credit: TheirWorld The Infinity Classroom installation at the main Plaza at UN Headquarters aims to give visibility to the global education crisis. (26 September 2019)

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm