Promoting quality education for all.

Realigning Our Priorities – A Focus on Early Childhood

by Molly Curtiss, 

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.”

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Fund education to achieve accessible literacy for all

by Katherine Stephans, 

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. 

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Education for All through the Eyes of a 10th Grade Activist

by Ananya B, 

School Girls Unite (SGU) is a non-profit organization that raises money to help send girls in Mali to school and advocates for equal education opportunities for all girls. It was founded in 2004 by group of seventh graders who continue to be extremely involved. SGU works with their sister organization in Mali, Les Filles Unies pour l’Education to connect with the students in Mali and receive information about the progress of our 11-year-old Mali Girls Scholarship program. Two current members in our school chapter of School Girls Unite, Ilhan Alyanak and Sophie Cobb, skype with Fatoumata Coulibaly, the president of Les Filles Unies, to unite us with the girls who receive our scholarships and learn about how they are doing in school.

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Wildfire! SDG 4 Red Alert –Rich Profits on Public Education in Liberia

by Jill Christianson, 

There is a wildfire beginning to rage in public education in Liberia.  Without immediate firefighting from many directions, this wildfire could spread elsewhere fast.  Unlike other fires that can be dampened and extinguished quickly, a wildfire  “differs from other fires by its extensive size, the speed at which it can spread out from its original source, its potential to change direction unexpectedly, and its ability to jump” borders.

The first to spot this explosive fire was the National Teachers’ Association of Liberia; it sounded the alarms.   The government of the Republic of Liberia, with leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Minster of Education George Kronnisanyon Werner, has developed the “Partnership Schools for Liberia,” plan for private, for-profit providers to manage all primary schools in the nation by 2020.  

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Building A Model School:  A Local School is a Point of Pride

By Carol Ann Emquies, Nina Hogan, and Jane Oppenheimer, 

In 2014, President Jakaya Kikwete visited our first project, Ntulya Primary School, deeming it “a model school that should be copied throughout Tanzania."  As we break ground on Milembe Girls Secondary School in nearby Iteja Village, the concept of an efficient, repeatable school drives our plans and execution.  What makes a school model-worthy?  After 8 years and a variety of building projects in rural Tanzania, we have come to learn there are varying essential elements that define what makes a school successful.

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Training Teachers in Conflict Zones – using education for hope

by Shanyn Ronis, 

In times of crisis, there are always people running towards the problem – not away from it. These are the people who inspire hope  in others. And that hope, in turn, is terror’s greatest enemy. This has never been more relevant than today, as the world faces down the largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 51 million refugees displaced from their homes by terror attacks and political strife.

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Higher Education Holds Promise of Self-Reliance and Independence for Refugees

by Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, 

"The only thing my father left me with was this advice before he died: 'I don't have anything to give you, but I ask you to continue with your education. Education will be your mother and father when I am no longer there,” says Charles, 21, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo now living in Malawi’s Dzaleka refugee camp.

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A Clean, Well-Watered Place: Meeting Essential Needs to Improve School Enrollment and Attendance

by Isabel Silva, 

Every year children throughout the world miss 443 million days of school because of water-borne illness. We know that access to school is absolutely essential to a country’s sustainable development, and yet water insecurity and lack of sanitation places so many hurdles in the way that it becomes difficult to make headway toward educational goals. 

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“So what about the boys?”  An insight into how a girls’ education program impacts boys

By Obert Chigodora, 

The mentioning of the name of the girls’ education project IGATE in full to stakeholders and communities was always greeted with many interesting questions: “What about boys?”; “Do you want parents to forget about the boy child and focus on the girl child?”   These were some of the questions that were quickly asked by the communities and stakeholders.  Explanations and clarifications about the project’s support to boys’ education were not easily understood. This story provides a detailed account of how IGATE is also benefiting boys’ education with specific reference to the case of Thulani Munkuli, who was assisted by the Mothers Group (MGs) to re-enroll after dropping out of school. 

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Catalyzing systemic change across Uganda: A BT Fellow’s journey of self-transformation

Access to quality education remains elusive for many across Uganda, particularly in the rural areas where Building Tomorrow (BT) works. The challenges are numerous and far-reaching: teachers are often isolated with little or no access to a network of peers and professional development; community School Management Committees have not been equipped to effectively carry out their responsibilities; local government officers are severely limited in their time and resources and, perhaps most importantly, parents often see little value in investing in a system that is failing their children. Building Tomorrow has been faced with the question of how to simultaneously affect so many diverse issues. We’ve found the answer in a group of ten extraordinary individuals who now make up the Building Tomorrow Fellows.

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