500-Day Countdown for Global Education


Sarah Brown at 2015 Countdown Summit


What is the 500-Day Countdown for Global Education?


This is a campaign about equal opportunity for every child and young person.

Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2 set out to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere would be able to complete a full course of primary education. Yet, as we approach the 2015 deadline, 58 million children remain out of school. Hundreds of millions more are not learning. At the current rate of progress, it will be 2086 before the last girl is able to go to attend primary school.

This is unacceptable.
 We must accelerate efforts to get every child into school and learning.


In order to do so, we must eliminate the largest barriers that keep millions of children out of school.

From now until the end of 2015, we will join forces with leading campaigners, global leaders, NGOs, policy experts and the faith and business community in a countdown mobilisation. We will co-ordinate shared actions to accelerate progress and accountability over the final 500 days of the MDGs to achieve results for children and youth.

Education unites us all - it is the bridge between the social injustice and opportunity for young people.


Education advances our shared goals across the many social justice campaigns we collectively support. From poverty alleviation and health to economic empowerment, child labor and girls’ rights, we will not achieve our goals without ensuring every child goes to school.

Education is the only acceptable alternative to the discrimination faced by millions of children every day. By including education as a key message in our ongoing campaigns and mobilisations, we can achieve the world we all want to live in.

Over the 500 Days, several themes will drive our campaign and create additional momentum.


Throughout the 500 days we will work continuously across several key areas and mobilise key constituencies. Every 100 days, we will add another layer to our campaign for universal education linked to key mobilisation dates. The themes include:

  • Children affected by conflict
  • Early forced marriage
  • Discrimination against girls
  • Child labour
  • Teachers and learning

Our mobilisation will include a strong youth engagement alongside other civil society campaigners, business, political and faith leaders.



We will set targets with leading stakeholders beginning at our countdown summit on 10 April 2014 and introduce them into the campaign themes.

June 2014 - spotlight on Youth

Children's Day in 48 countries. Several launch events will create a Global Children's Education Month (public announcement of share Countdown Campaign demands). Launch of Global Youth Mobilisation. Recruitment of lead campaigners.

July 2014 - spotlight on Education in Emergencies and Conflict

As a pre-campaign warm-up, we will focus on the barriers affecting half of the out-of-school population.

Day 500, August 18, 2014

Official Start of 500-Day Countdown. World Humanitarian Day and International Youth Day.

Day 500-400 - spotlight on Child Marriage/Girls

Mobilisation. International Day of the Girl Child on October 11.

Day 400-300 - spotlight on Girls' Education

Mobilisation. Culminates on International Womens' Day 2015.

Day 300-200 - spotlight on Child Labour

Mobilisation. Culminates on International Day Against Child Labour.

Day 200-100 - spotlight on Country-Specific Results and Accountability

Mobilisation. Culminates during UN General Assembly 2015. Final push for 100 Days of Action.

Day 100-0

Culminates on January 1, 2016. Zero exclusion from education.