The problem is not just the amount of funding for education, but how the available resources are being spent. In the past decade, tertiary education consistently received the highest proportion of education aid of any education sector, beating out even primary education year after year. Moreover, during this period, seven of the top fifteen donors to education increased the portion of their aid allocated to higher education and consequently decreased the portion to basic education.
Further, this aid to tertiary education isn’t being spent sustainably. A large percentage of growing funds to higher education have been used not to strengthen university systems in recipient countries but rather to provide scholarships for students to attend higher education institutions in donor countries. In 2012, for example, “for every US$1 disbursed in direct aid to early childhood care and education, the equivalent of US$58 went to support students from recipient countries at the post-secondary level in donor countries.”
Can you remember your first day of kindergarten? Or even preschool? Chances are, you were excited beyond words.
Chances are, your first classroom greeted you with colorful drawings on the walls, 27 letters on the chalkboard, and even a cozy reading corner filled with stacks of books, waiting patiently to take you on an adventure.
During a recent trip to spend time with early childhood professionals in China, I worked to master the skill of eating with chopsticks, and I was amazed by how much I had to learn. While I was no stranger to chopsticks—in fact I’m quite proud of my ability to use them when eating sweet and sour chicken in DC—it struck me how, in China, my use of chopsticks took place in an environment in which I worked to finesse this skill at an entirely new level. I learned to grasp the food more precisely as it circled by on the customary rotating round table that supports communal sharing of a meal. This was not just about my practicing the skill, but also about the influence of the place and the culture in which I was immersed—an illustration of the importance of context in learning.
For 250 million children around the world, getting access to high-quality, relevant, and interesting reading material is a huge barrier to learning how to read. Many of these children are already enrolled in primary schools, but they don’t have sufficient access to quality materials – or the time to enjoy them. How can technology help connect children with the right materials to enrich their reading experience?
As many children return to school this month, it is an exciting time for parents and students. There is an assumption by many that school is a safe place, but there are children around the world, including in the U.S., that will be returning to school and wondering if their school is really safe.
As the international education community begins to focus a long lens on the Sustainable Development Goals taking shape around secondary education and quality, lifelong learning, with special emphasis on technical and vocational skills, Connect To Learn too is evolving our mission to build upon our work providing girls’ scholarships and ICT tools in remote, resource poor classrooms into one that takes a broader, more holistic approach to education.
On a sunny day late in September, I tagged along on a lobbying visit to the Brazilian Embassy in Washington – led by Kailash Satyarthi, with colleagues from the Child Labor Coalition and the International Labor Rights Forum. Following this fall’s swirl of activities at the UN General Assembly and a myriad of meetings about the Beyond-2015 plans (Sustainable Development Goals) including education, Kailash is focused on one thing…ENDING CHILD SLAVERY.
The numbers in the Philippines are staggering-more than many of us can comprehend. I know when we hear about the enormity of it all, it can be like an old school computer that "can't compute" due to being overwhelmed with the task at hand but the action of many can help get the Philippines and its people back to some semblance of normal.