March 24, 2015
United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown announced on Wednesday a 1,000-school pilot project in Pakistan under the Safe Schools Initiative to access risk preparedness of school and generate recommendations for school and community safety.
“I can announce today a 1,000-school pilot in Pakistan in a partnership between the government, UNICEF, and the Global Business Coalition for Education, spearheaded by a pro-bono technology contribution from Predictify.me, a US-based data sciences and predictive analytics firm,” he said.
“The partnership will deliver state-of-the-art technology and simulation software to assess the levels of risk preparedness of schools and generate recommendations for school and community safety plans.”
Brown said that the project, which is supported by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, follows the successful results of a similar scheme in Nigeria, where 30,000 children were displaced by Boko Haram were in double-shift schools and other children in at-risk areas were benefiting from school relocation and increased security measures.
Brown said that he had seen how children had become “the silent, tragic victims of conflict” on a recent visit to South Sudan, as well as others to Nigeria, Pakistan and the DRC.
He explained that this was illustrated by statistics such as the more than 10,000 attacks on schools in the last five years – the highest level recorded in the past 40 years – and the 28 million boys and girls who are not in school in areas of conflict or emergency worldwide.
Brown called for “fundamental changes” to strengthen global commitment to defend rights of schoolgirls and boys, as he said that 2015 should be the year to end violations of children’s rights.
He urged the international community to invest in making schools all over the world’s troubled areas safer by agreeing to the terms of a new Global Humanitarian Fund for Education in Emergencies; to commit $163 million at an upcoming conference on educating Syrian refugees in Lebanon; and by signing the international Safe Schools Declaration to protect schools from military use and attacks by giving the same protection as is afforded to the Red Cross.
This article originally appeared on UN News Centre