Taking action for girls' education.
An amazing 1.8 million children from Albania to Zimbabwe participated in the 'World's Biggest Ever Lesson' on 9 April 2003. They were joined by pop stars, politicians, and policy makers in 108 countries, as part of the GCE's Week of Action. The aim of the lesson was to highlight the importance of educating girls and to remind world leaders to keep their promises to fund education for every girl and boy. UN Secretary General Kofi Paman, who took part in the lesson, urged support for the campaign: "Let this be not only the world's biggest ever lesson, but a lesson that the world will never forget." Bangladesh emerged as the biggest star, with at least 450,000 children and adults across the country taking part, while in Niger President Tandja Mamadou took '15 Big Steps' towards the 2015 goal of getting all boys and girls into school. In Paris, at the normally sober UNESCO headquarters, Director General Koichiro Matsuura presented the lesson to member states during an Executive Board meeting. In South Africa, Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer was one of the celebrities presenting the Big Lesson. Television star Michelle Collins taught the lesson to 2,500 British schoolchildren, while Schools Minister David Miliband taught the lesson at an east London primary school. (excerpt)