New York

21 April 2013

Secretary-General's video message for the Global Action Week on Education

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, I meet people around the world, from all walks of life.

Some of my most inspiring encounters are with young people.

They often ask me for advice about their careers – and about life in general.

I tell them what my middle school teacher told me: Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.

That teacher changed my life with his wise guidance to aim high while being practical at the same time. I still live by his words.

Millions of children around the world have never had a teacher.

What’s worse, today the world is experiencing a huge teacher shortage.

To get every child into primary school, we need 1.7 million more teachers.

That is why I support the Global Campaign for Education in calling for trained teachers for all.

Last year, I launched the Global Education First Initiative because education can help break the cycle of poverty. Education opens the door to jobs, better health and stronger communities. It enables people to become global citizens and reach their full potential. We especially need a push to put more girls in classrooms.

Quality education is at the heart of this initiative – and there is no more effective way to achieve this than through trained teachers.

I stand with the Global Campaign for Education and call for greater investment in teachers.

On the occasion of this year's Global Action Week on Education for All, let us make sure that every child has a teacher. Let us recognize the crucial role of teachers in building a better future for all.