According to the World Bank, 1.3 billion people are living below theextreme poverty line with an income of less than US$1.25/day. Another2.6 billion live on less than US$2.00/day.
There are approximately130 million children whoare not enrolled inschool (adisproportionate numberof whom are girls), 100million more who dropout prematurely, and 900million adults who areilliterate.- International Commissionon Education for theTwenty-first Century’sReport to UNESCO
In a vicious cycle, the conditions ofpoverty keep children out of schooland the resulting lack of educationwill keep them mired in poverty. Lack money for school fees Lack proximity to school Lack teachers/high rates of teacher absenteeism Low quality of education Lack materials at school Teachers lack training
What would a quality education look like?Quality education is affordable, accessible, gender-sensitive and responds to diversity. Itincludes:1. A safe and inclusive learner friendly environment2. Competent and well-trained teachers who are knowledgeable in the subject matter and pedagogy3. An appropriate context-specific curriculum that is comprehensible and culturally, linguistically, and socially relevant for the learners4. Adequate and relevant materials for teaching and learning5. Participatory methods of instruction and learning processes that respect the dignity of the learner6. Appropriate class sizes and teacher-student ratios7. An emphasis on recreation, play, sport, and creative activities in addition to areas such as literacy, numeracy, and life skills- from the International Network for Education in Emergencies, Minimum Standardsfor Education
Education For All (EFA) An International Initiative launched in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand with a coalition of national governments, civil society organizations, and development agencies (including UNESCO and the World Bank) aimed at bringing education to “every citizen in every society” After a decade of slow progress, the countries involved reaffirmed their commitment to EFA in April 2000 in Dakar, Senegal In September 2000, 189 countries committed to two of the six EFA goals that were also considered Millennium Development Goals
Six Education For All Goals Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, those in difficult circumstances, and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete, free, and compulsory primary education of good quality. Ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programs. Achieve a 50 % improvement in adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults. Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality. Improve all aspects of the quality of education and ensure the excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills. (as listed on worldbank.org)
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) In 2000, world leaders gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York to commit to a series of targets aimed at reducing extreme poverty by 2015. In 2002 the United Nations officially launched its Millennium Campaign to inspire people around the world to take action towards achieving the eight goals
Goals #2 and #3 of theMillennium Development Goalslisted here (the graphic wasclipped directly from the UnitedNations MDG website) wereadapted from the Education ForAll initiative goals and agreed toby 189 countries in September2000.
The United Nations presents Statistics on its website tracking all of the MDGs. Here you can see that great strides have been made toward universal enrollment in primary education. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done, particularly in the areas noted by the arrows on the left.http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mdg
Here you can see the percentage of students who complete primary school. In those areas noted by the blue arrows, the number of “successful” students is far too low.http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mdg
It is one thing to enroll children in primary school and quite another to ensure that they are getting a quality education. These numbers reveal the literacy rates of 15-24 year- olds.http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mdg
According to the World Bank: “...huge challenges remain in 44 countries, 23 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.” “…girls are still at a disadvantage when it comes to access and completion of primary and secondary school.” “In many developing countries, less than 60 percent of primary school pupils who enroll in first grade reach the last grade of schooling. Additionally, pupil/teacher ratios in many countries exceed 40:1 and many primary teachers lack adequate qualifications.”
Throughout the world, nonprofit organizations have turnedtheir attention to tackling the problems of education. Theleaders of some of these organizations created large-scale,systemic, and sustainable change.
Centre for Digital Inclusion (CDI) CDI was founded in 1995 by Rodrigo Baggio to promote digital inclusion in emerging countries while maintaining a focus on entrepreneurship and community actionTheory of Change A root cause of poverty is the disempowerment that is exacerbated by a complete lack of access to technology and training coupled with a lack of opportunity. If we provide access to technology as well as training in computer skills, entrepreneurship, and community action, then our clients will be able to develop their own opportunities to use technology to change their lives and their communities.Growth & Impact The project began with two centres in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and has grown to approximately 965 self-managed and self-sustaining CDI Community Centres in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Jordan, and the U.K. with over 2000 trained educators. To date they have helped more than 1.3 million at-risk youth and adults They have won over 60 international awards including from Ashoka, Skoll Foundation, Schwab Foundation, UNESCO, and UNICEF
Free the Children Founded in 1995 by then 12-year-old Craig Kielburger in response to the story of another 12-year-old, IqbalMasih, who was killed for speaking out for children’s rights in South Asia.Theory of Change We believe in creating a world in which all children are free to reach their full potential and become agents of change. If we provide youth in developing countries with access to education, water and sanitation, health services, alternative income and livelihoods, and agriculture and food security (the five pillars to ending poverty), then we will free those children to become agents of their own change.Growth & Impact Have built more than 650 schools and school-rooms, helped 30,000 women with economic self-sufficiency, and shipped over $16,000,000 worth of medical supplies overseas Currently have over 1.7 million youth (domestic and abroad) involved in their programs Created Me to We, a social enterprise created to support the charity that has donated over $5 million and employs 612 women full-time in the communities they support.
Craig Kielburger and Free the Children’s story…
Pratham Pratham was started in 1994 by MadhavChavan to provide Mumbai’s inner- city children with a preschool education.Theory of Change Every child has a right to a quality education. If we provide low-cost and high-quality programs in education – especially at the early and primary levels – and if we enlist and train dedicated volunteers to carry out these programs, they will be replicable and sustainable enough to create perceptible systemic change so that one day every child in India will have access to a quality education.Growth & Impact Pratham is now India’s largest NGO dedicated to achieving universal preschool and primary education They provide employment for 10,000 women who work on a daily basis and they have one trained volunteer in each of 308,671 villages in India (out of a total of approximately 600,000).
These are just three examples of organizations working to provide quality education to the world’spoorest children. There are thousands more – some are small-scale nonprofits, some are large-scale social enterprises. Most begin as these three did, with the vision of one person seeking tohelp where that help is needed the most.