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What the unions say about the appeal

Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "The children of Afghanistan have had their lives and their education disrupted by war for more than 20 years. Overcoming that devastation will not be an easy task and will not happen over night. It is up to us as part of the international community, to give as much help as we can, as fast as we can."

David Hart, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "The Afghan situation is a particularly extreme example of a way in which women and children have been deprived of education for far too long. Anything we can do to support the Afghan nation is important. The appeal provides schools with an opportunity to use curriculum materials and to raise the awareness of pupils about the events in Afghanistan."

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: "It sounds an excellent scheme. We are more than happy to associate ourselves with the campaign. We want schools to do as much as they can."

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said:

"SHA has done a considerable amount of work for schools in Namibia and I know heads will welcome the opportunity to involve pupils in supporting the young people in Afghanistan."

Gethin Lewis, secretary of NUT Cymru, said: "Wales has a proud tradition of supporting education. Our schools will be happy to assist other countries develop what is such an important aspect of life. All children have a right to education and any campaign which helps ensure this will be supported by us."

Peter Smith, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "We are in total support of this campaign and we will encourage our members to participate. No teacher in an affluent society such as ours will turn away from children who have been deprived of an education by war and politics."

Jean Gemmell, general secretary of the Professional Association of Teachers, said: "Children are a country's future and education is the key to their future. The people of Afghanistan have suffered enormously and this appeal will do something tangible to help. I wish the campaign every success and hope schools across the country will support it wholeheartedly."

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