"Time for School: 2003 - 2016" puts a Human Face on an Underreported Global Crisis

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13 September 2016
Time for School: 2003 – 2016
Photo: Courtesy WNET
“Time for School: 2003 – 2016”
Premieres Thursday, September 15 at 9 PM ET on PBS
(Check your local listings)
The Stories of Five Extraordinary Children in Five Countries over 12 Years
Fighting Against the Odds for a Basic Education

         While September marks the return to school for students in the United States, education is still not an option for millions of children in developing countries. “Time for School: 2003 – 2016” puts a human face on this underreported global crisis, spotlighting the 12-year journey of five extraordinary children in five countries as they struggle to get a basic education. The new 90-minute documentary is part of PBS’ “Spotlight Education,” a week of primetime programming focused on the challenges facing America’s education system.

          “Time for School: 2003 – 2016” introduces viewers to Nanavi in Benin; Jefferson in Brazil; Neeraj in India; Joab in Kenya; and Shugufa in Afghanistan and follows them from their first year of school in 2003 to the time of their hoped-for high school graduation. The film, told through the point of view of the children and their families, presents the contrasting lives of those who were forced to abandon schooling and those who are still following their dreams. It tells a story of what’s at stake when war, abject poverty, or just being a girl stands between a child and the simple promise of a basic education.


          This unique 12-year documentary project was inspired by the Millennium Development Goal of “Education for All,” a promise that 189 nations made to the United Nations in 2000, to provide every child around the world with a free primary education by 2015. While there has been progress over the past 15 years, there are still 58 million children out of school around the globe and around 100 million who do not complete primary school – in spite of universal recognition that education is the smartest anti-poverty investment that any country can make.

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