Right to education worldwide

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Today, education remains an inaccessible right for millions of children around the world. More than 72 million children of primary education age are not in school and 759 million adults are illiterate and do not have the awareness necessary to improve both their living conditions and those of their children.

Causes of lack of education

For many children who still do not have access to education, it is notable because of persisting inequality and marginalization.

In developing and developed countries alike, children do not have access to basic education because of inequalities that originate in sex, health and cultural identity (ethnic origin, language, religion). These children find themselves on the margins of the education system and do not benefit from learning that is vital to their intellectual and social development.

Factors linked to poverty such as unemployment, illness and the illiteracy of parents, multiply the risk of non-schooling and the drop-out rate of a child by 2.

Undeniably, many children from disadvantaged backgrounds are forced to abandon their education due to health problems related to malnutrition or in order to work and provide support for the family.

Financial deficit of developing countries

Universal primary education is a major issue and a sizeable problem for many states.

Many emerging countries do not appropriate the financial resources necessary to create schools, provide schooling materials, nor recruit and train teachers. Funds pledged by the international community are generally not sufficient enough to allow countries to establish an education system for all children.

Equally, a lack of financial resources has an effect on the quality of teaching. Teachers do not benefit from basic teacher training and schools, of which there are not enough, have oversized classes.

This overflow leads to classes where many different educational levels are forced together which does not allow each individual child to benefit from an education adapted to their needs and abilities. As a result, the drop-out rate and education failure remain high.

As a result of poverty and marginalization, more than 72 million children around the world remain unschooled.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected area with over 32 million children of primary school age remaining uneducated. Central and Eastern Asia, as well as the Pacific, are also severely affected by this problem with more than 27 million uneducated children.

Additionally, these regions must also solve continuing problems of educational poverty (a child in education for less than 4 years) and extreme educational poverty (a child in education for less than 2 years).

Essentially this concerns Sub-Saharan Africa where more than half of children receive an education for less than 4 years. In certain countries, such as Somalia and Burkina Faso, more than 50% of children receive an education for a period less than 2 years.

The lack of schooling and poor education have negative effects on the population and country.  The children leave school without having acquired the basics, which greatly impedes the social and economic development of these countries.

A Guest Editorial