Millions of children worldwide have no opportunity to go to school. They are denied access even to basic education. And thus also the key to opportunities, perspectives, and the future. Because of poverty, many children can’t receive 10th birthday gifts for girls.
Terrifying figures on the education situation worldwide
The World Education Report 2011, a publication by UNESCO, provides terrifying figures on the education situation worldwide: In 2008, a total of 67 million children did not go to school, 43 percent of these children lived in Sub-Saharan Africa and 27 percent in South and South Africa West Asia. Almost half of the children who do not go to school live in just 15 countries in the world, according to the report. The situation is particularly bad for children in Nigeria, Pakistan, and India.
Millennium Goal: Basic education for all
Children in rural regions in developing countries and poor children have the worst educational opportunities. It starts with primary school education. According to the second-millennium goal, every child should at least be able to complete elementary school, but this is far from being implemented.
Poverty impedes access to education
Hardship and poverty at home is a major reason why children are denied access to education. Parents cannot afford the school fees or the school uniforms for their children. Many children from poor families also often have to contribute to their livelihood and – instead of going to class – go to work. Even a long – often several kilometers walk – and often dangerous journey to school in rural areas keeps many children away from class.
Education systems are often catastrophic
And in the classroom, too, many circumstances make learning difficult. The education system in developing countries is often catastrophic, with a lack of money and teachers, classrooms, and teaching materials. And behind the school desk, too, poverty and malnutrition play an important role. Those who are hungry cannot concentrate, think, and learn.
Education is fundamental to progress and the future
Access to education remains closed to millions of people, and education is the key to development and the future. It starts with the mothers, who can better protect their children from diseases if they have a basic knowledge of hygiene and healthy eating. Such knowledge can lower child mortality. It continues with the girls and boys, who have better chances of lifting themselves out of poverty. Because anyone who has an apprenticeship finds a job easier. And ultimately, education also enables women and girls to develop their own income opportunities and lead a self-determined life.