A new UN-backed report says there is a yawning education chasm between children in rich and poor countries, and it warns that the gap will only grow wider unless definitive action is taken to invest in global education.

The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity is proposing the largest expansion of education opportunity in modern history. The aim is to give “all children” in poorer countries access to a solid learning opportunity up to and including secondary education within a generation.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, chief executive of Save the Children and a former prime minister of Denmark, urged world leaders to act: “A year ago, the world promised children the universal right to a quality education by 2030. As the Commission report shows, we are way off track from achieving that goal based on current trends,” Thorning-Schmidt told DW. “And this means we are depriving nearly one billion school-aged children of a basic secondary education. This will have a disastrous impact for children, economies and societies.”

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