Twelve years in the making, Time for School spotlights the global crisis in access to education through the lives of 7 children in 7 countries. Most of the children live in countries facing profound challenges — where poverty, child labor, early marriage, and the chaos of war prevent legions of young people from getting a basic education. The students’ setbacks and victories shed light on one of the most urgent and under-reported stories of our time.
Our film focuses on a critical turning point in the children’s lives — their hoped-for high school graduation. Combining current-day footage with a treasure trove of material we have shot over a decade, starting in 2003 when they were just beginning their first year of school, the film will draw the viewer into the worlds of our seven children — and reveal who has made it through, despite daunting obstacles. The contrasting lives of those who were forced to abandon schooling, and those who are still following their dreams, tell a gripping story of what is at stake when war, abject poverty, or just being a girl stands between a child and the simple goal of a basic education.
In the lead-up to September 2015, when the U.N. will address its progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of Education for All, we are partnering with the Global Business Coalition for Education and its A World at School program, the international campaign striving to fulfill the world’s promise to provide an education for every child, everywhere. Despite progress over the past decade, still a shocking 57 million children have never set foot inside a school, and millions more drop out before completing five years of education.
Time for School reports from the front lines, through the life stories of the youth whose futures are at stake.