UK ex-PM and now UN education czar Brown inspired by sidewalk-studying boy

Photo Credit: BBC/Rappler

CEBU, Philippines – This goes to show that it’s not only Filipinos who are inspired by the touching story of 9-year-old Daniel Cabrera.

Following the viral spread of a picture showing him studying outside a fast-food restaurant with nothing but a bench as a makeshift table, Daniel’s plight has inspired and caught the attention of millions around the world.

In particular, even former United Kingdom Prime Minister and now United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown has caught on to Daniel’s story, Rappler reported.

In a statement posted on the website of education advocacy group A World at School, Brown noted how Daniel’s struggle seemed to sum up everything that is wrong with today’s educational system.

“A young boy from the Philippines—pictured at a makeshift desk doing his homework in the street, under the lights of a McDonald’s restaurant—encapsulates the great paradox of global education today: more young people than ever before realize the importance of the right to education but too few adults are making that right into a reality,” Brown wrote.

Daniel is Not Alone

While sharing the details of Daniel’s life, Brown lamented that his plight is not an isolated case due to global inadequacy in ensuring education for everyone.

“Indeed, 59 million primary age children are not at school and may never even enter a classroom. What’s more, there are millions more who are being badly taught,” Brown wrote, and added that 90% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa endure primary schools without electricity while almost 1.3 billion people globally do not have access to such technology.

World Needs to Support Education More

In parting, Brown noted that while the desire for education is stronger than ever, more support and work needs to be done by the global community to ensure that need is met.

“If one nine-year-old boy can emerge from the darkness and show the world how important education is perhaps the adults who can make a difference will finally see the light,” he wrote.