1 soldier = 20 schools in Afghanistan

17 Nov 2009

 A sobering statistic was given to the World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha today.

Kiyo Akasaka, a United Nations Under-Secretary, said it had been calculated that for the same cost of stationing a single additional soldier in Afghanistan for a year, roughly 20 schools could be built there.

Mr Akasaka was speaking in the plenary session on sustainable education -- a session that was also addressed by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

 The latter argued that in a time of global economic crisis, investment in education was the way out of trouble.

Mr Akasaka reminded the audience of 1000 delegates that it was important for universities to play their part in impacting on society - the time has come, he argued, for a new culture of 'intellectual social responsibility'.

He said the UN's 'Academic Impact' project asked each participating university to undertake one activity a year which can directly contribute to the realisation of a specific United Nations objective.


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