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First Ladies Summit Adopts Declaration In Three Areas | 13/10/2010
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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 2010 (Bernama) -- The inaugural First Ladies Summit which ended here today, has issued a declaration comprising three areas, namely education, families and communities, with the aim of achieving at least one goal in each of the areas.

The prime minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who read out the declaration, said the first ladies resolved and were committed to work with different stakeholders, including families, governments, academia, business, media, non-profit organisations and local communities, to mobilise resources and achieve at least one goal in each of the three areas.

In making their case, the first ladies said that their vision for the children's future was a world in which all children had access to health care throughout their lifetime, and quality, free education where they could learn the skills, attitudes and knowledge necessary to create, innovate and thrive.

"We live in challenging times of risk and adversity, but we are optimistic that globalisation, culture and technology provide extraordinary opportunities for children to make choices and create solutions," they said.

Fifteen first ladies attended the summit themed, 'A Child Today, a Leader Tomorrow'.

Besides Rosmah, the other first ladies are Teuta Topi (Albania), Ernestina Naadu Mills (Ghana), Mariama Mane Sanha (Guinea Bissau), Lorna Golding (Jamaica), Meme Tong (Kiribati), Keosaychay Sayasone (Laos), Sarojini Jugnauth (Mauritius), Maria De Luz Guebuza (Mozambique), Patience Jonathan (Nigeria), Mercedes Lugo De Maidana (Paraguay), Natalie Brigitte Nadage Michel (Seychelles), Sia Nyama Koroma (Sierra Leone), Sriranthi Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka) and Thandiwe Banda (Zambia).

Six representatives of first ladies and 20 ministers also attended the event.

The First Ladies Summit 2010, initiated and hosted by Rosmah, focuses on ways in which families, communities and governments can work together to uncover the potential in every child.

The first ladies said that the world needed future leaders who were responsible and far-sighted, understood the impact of their decisions and were willing to go beyond self-interest and boundaries to commit to a global partnership.

In the area of education comprising 11 points, Rosmah said the goals included investing in integrated solutions at all levels of free compulsory education from early childhood to empower, challenge and enrich children.

Rosmah said other goals included enhancing teacher-training programmes to enable teachers to differentiate instructions for students with different needs, ranging from those with special needs to those who were gifted and talented.

Another goal outlined in the education area was to balance emphasis on science, technology and mathematics, with humanities and multi-lingual literacy for all children to learn deeply and think critically, and also to teach children how to make wise decisions in the use of science and technology.

Rosmah said another goal was to invest in programmes and services such as student councils, student government or parliament, youth fora, cultural exchanges and other leadership programmes to create young leaders with compassion, confidence and courage.

Besides that, other goals are equal opportunities for boys and girls across all educational initiatives, recruit the best and brightest students as teachers and incentivise them as professionals and embrace innovative pedagogies to enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills for all children.

The declaration also called for partnership with businesses, media and non-profit organisations to establish scholarships, connectivity and other forms of support for children to develop their talents.

The declaration on education also called for championing widespread access to the internet to capitalise on youth's proclivity for change, mobility and the use of technology as these would prepare them with skills like language literacy and English proficiency needed to responsibly create and use global knowledge.

In the area of Families, Rosmah outlined the goals which included providing guidance that enabled children to discover and interact with their environment to enhance their socialisation processes, family and spiritual values and their ability to create new knowledge.

Besides that, to provide programmes and initiatives for healthy and nutritious diets to ensure children's optimal physical and mental development from the womb onward and teach children to be self-reliant in learning and decision-making to cope with constant change and diversity.

Also, strenghten family and community relationships and social support networks, develop and support children's talents or hobbies and establish education on reproductive health for boys and girls and encourage youth to delay child bearing until they completed secondary education.

In the area of Communities, Rosmah said the goals were to advocate legislation for children's protection and human rights and develop policies to translate legislation into programmes and services that could be widely implemented.

Apart from that, also forming partnerships with different stakeholders in the community to provide an intellectual, cultural and spiritual milieu that nurture future leaders and champion out-of-school programmes, mentorships and service learning to provide real life experiences that develop 21 century skills.

The last goal in this area is to ensure a safe physical and virtual environment for children to grow, develop in faith, embrace moderation and learn to respect and value diversity in order to build a peaceful co-existence for all.

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