“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”
– Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General
Today is International Human Rights Day. Education is a right, like the right to have food or a roof over your head. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to education”.
And yet, 61 million children are not in school, well over half of these are girls.
Education is also a gateway to human development. It opens doors and expands opportunities and freedoms. According to the World Bank, each additional year that an individual stays in school increases his or her income by 10%. It contributes to greater peace, democracy and economic growth as well as improving health and reducing poverty. UNESCO states that if all children in low-income countries could read, poverty would drop by 12 %—a total of 171 million people lifted up just by learning to read.
Why is it that there are still 61 million children out of school?
- They are made to work
- They are recruited into armed forces
- Their families do not have the means to pay for schooling
- Schools are too far away
- Discrimination and racism undermine their chance to receive an education
- They face violence in their daily lives
The Global Partnership for Education is the only multilateral partnership devoted to getting all of these children into school for a quality education. To make this happen, we work together with a diverse group of governments, civil society/non-governmental organizations, international organizations, private sector, and teachers.
Our work is anchored in the Education for All goals. We focus on:
- Girls’ education
- Education in fragile and conflict-affected states
- Early-grade learning (especially reading and math)
- Improving teacher effectiveness through training and recruitment
- Expanding funding and support to education in GPE countries
Support our work and take action to ensure that every child gets a quality education. Going to school shouldn’t be just a privilege. Children have a fundamental right to go to school.