Harry Belafonte urges all countries to end school fees, UNICEF reports

16 February 2004

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today reported that its Goodwill Ambassador, Harry Belafonte, has issued a call on all developing countries today to follow Kenya's example and permanently abolish primary school fees.

Since the first week of tuition-free school in Kenya in January 2003, more than 1.3 children have entered school for the first time, pushing national enrollment from 5.9 million to 7.2 million, according to UNICEF.

“These children and their parents know that getting an education is not only their right, but a passport to a better future,” Mr. Belafonte said today. “Kenya's decision to abolish school fees is a shining example of just what can be achieved in the developing world by sheer political will.”

Mr. Belafonte is visiting Kenya to monitor the success of free primary education one year after school fees were abolished. Appointed as a global Goodwill Ambassador in 1987, he has participated in hundreds of events and trips on behalf of UNICEF.


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