Zhuri Bryant, GCE-US Intern & Duke University Campus Leader,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact education for youth all over the world, advocates in Morocco are working to ensure that private schools are not the only establishments recieving support from the government. Read more here!
A webinar hosted by USAID and The Global Reading Network on June 7, 2017 explained important work being done on inclusive education for children with disabilities in developing countries. It discussed USAID's disability and non-discrimination policies and the "All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development" program, which funds projects that use technology and science to improve literacy skills in early grade learners in developing countries .
We love sharing stories of kids like Suhbat, who came to our center and spent time laughing and playing and working through the trauma of being displaced by ISIS through art and character building lessons.
We love talking about Shilan, and how our work was provoking her family to think through issues of respect and forgiveness.
We get excited to share stories about how the teenagers who came to our classes were inspired to study together and felt more confident going into their exam sessions.
This is Masa. When Masa was one year old, her family was forced to flee their home country of Syria for Turkey. Today, Masa is five years old, an age when many children around the world go to school. She is among the 1 million Syrian refugee children living in neighboring countries who are not in school.
The remote Kenyan village I called home from 1999-2001 had just one reliable phone line located in a Catholic Church. The Priest there allowed me to accept incoming calls from my parents in New York every other Sunday at 7 p.m. If I missed that call, which happened on occasion, two long weeks would pass before that phone would ring again.
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.”
Education is a human right. More than that, it is a lifesaving humanitarian response. School provides stability, structure and routine that children need to cope with loss, fear, stress and violence. Being in school can keep children safe and protected from risks, including gender-based violence, recruitment into armed groups, child labor, and early marriage. In periods of crisis, parents and children identify education as one of their highest priority needs.
For over four years now, discomforting images and stories of entire neighborhoods leveled by bombs, of families mourning children taken too soon and of thousands of refugees leaving everything behind have served as daily reminders of our failure to end the conflict in Syria.
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.