Tag Archives: UNESCO

The Rising Educational Obstacles for sub-Saharan Children

Invest in One ChildWhen children who live in poor countries think about being educated there are many hurdles they face first before stepping foot in the classroom from the sheer proximity to a school to school fees to the cost of a uniform. It adds up quickly and means that many children remain uneducated in developing countries because of their family’s lack of financial resources. Everyone has a basic right to education, but that basic right oftentimes goes unfulfilled. There is no doubt about it: education transforms lives. This is true around the world, but in countries where the only means of rising out of poverty is through education the stakes are particularly high.

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The Education for All global initiative that was first created in 1990 says that every child has a right to free primary school. There has been progress over the past decade. In sub-Saharan African children in school rose from 59 percent to 77 percent, but there are still millions more children who are not enrolled in school at all despite increased global enrollment. For example, Nigeria has the worst percentage of children who are not in school. According to UNESCO that number has risen from 7.4 million Nigerian children that are not in school to 10. 5 million since 1999.

Opportunity International, an organization that provides microfinance loans to help people rise out of poverty in developing nations, has recognized that there is a fundamental problem with access to education for children in sub-Saharan Africa where parents typically have to pay 30% of their children’s school fees. Their program,  Invest in One Child, asks donors to help send a child to school for less than $1 a day. Working in Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, and Rwanda, Opportunity International provides access to loans for parents who desperately need money to pay for their children’s school fees. An individual family can borrow up to $240 per child per year.

Through Invest in One Child you can invest in one child going to school for one year. Here’s how the donation flow works:

To learn more and to invest in a child’s education in sub-Saharan Africa visit opportunity.org/give/project/child.

Photos courtesy of Opportunity International

Education Lacks Substantial Private Sector Contributions Says UNESCO

According to UNESCO, education lags behind other global development sectors in private sector contributions at only 5%  and experts expect the education funding to stagnant until 2015. This lack of funding will irreparably harm the Education for All Goals that should be met by 2015, says UNESCO.

In a recently released policy paper UNESCO argues that the private sector should increase its contributions to education since the levels are currently incredibly low and hover around $638 million dollars annually – far more than a billion dollars less than the amount it takes to send every child in the world to school. This is critically important especially as the World Economic Forum gets underway this week and organizations and NGOs will gobble up private section partnerships for the year.

The 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report makes four recommendations for improving and increasing funds from the private sector to education:

1.      All private organizations should be transparent about the amount and purpose of their commitments. This would allow scrutiny to ensure that business interests do not override collective goals, while also giving information on the amount of resources available to fill the EFA financing gap.

2.      To have a lasting impact on EFA, private organizations need to provide sufficient funding over several years to assure the sustainability of initiatives because education is a long-term endeavour

3.      Better evaluations need to be carried out of the impact of private sector interventions.

4.      Private organizations should align their support with government priorities and countries’ needs. The Global Partnership for Education could play a larger role in pooling and disbursing funds to this end.

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Photo: All rights reserved by EFA Report