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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
02-04-2003 5:00 pm Paris – Children and adults from more than 100 countries will attempt to break the world record for the Largest Simultaneous Lesson on Wednesday April 9, as part of the celebrations for this year’s Education For All Week (April 6-13) which is being held under the banner of “All for Girl’s Education”.
The record attempt is being organized by the Global Campaign for Education, a coalition of charities, trade unions and citizens groups worldwide, and is supported by UNESCO, which will also participate.

The present record for the largest lesson, according to the Guiness Book of Records, is held by the United Kingdom for a language class given in March 2002 in which 28,801 children took part.

The importance and benefits of educating girls and women will be the subject of the lesson that participants will follow for the new record attempt. According to the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2002: Education for All - Is the world on track?, women make up two-thirds of the world’s 861 million illiterate adults; of the estimated 115.4 million out-of-school children, some 56 percent are girls.

In April 2000, the 164 countries attending the World Education Forum in Dakar (Senegal), set themselves the goal of eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005. The EFA Global Monitoring Report 2002 signalled steady progress throughout the 90s in getting more girls into school, but found that only 86 out of 153 countries for which data were available had achieved gender parity. The Report concludes that of the remaining 67, only 18 have a good chance of attaining this goal, but not before 2015, unless a major effort is made by the countries concerned and by the donor community.

At UNESCO Headquarters, Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will open the 30-minute lesson (2.45 pm, Room II), which will then be given by John Daniel, the Assistant Director-General for Education. The members of the Organization’s Executive Board, which will be in session from April 4-16, and the Permanent Delegations have been invited to attend, along with UNESCO staff.

For more information on the world record attempt and other EFA activities see

Source Media Advisory N° 2003-N°29


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