Action Card - August 2021 Inequality in Education
Material provided by Christians
‘If you’re thinking a year ahead,
SOW a seed:
ten years, PLANT a tree:
a hundred years,
EDUCATE THE PEOPLE.’
Parents and children learn together in
Access to primary education is a basic right of every child. An effective primary education can build a solid foundation and open avenues for future success and lifelong learning. With its implications for both the individual and for society primary education plays a crucial role in reducing extreme poverty and promoting social change.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda sees primary education as vital. Goal 4 demands that by 2030, the world should ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, including a target on universal access to primary education.
Significant progress has been made toward achieving universal primary education. Globally the attendance rate reached 87 per cent in 2019, and about four out of five children attending primary education completed the full course. Additionally, over the past two decades, the number of out-of-school children was reduced by over 40 per cent. However, there is still a long way to go. Worldwide 58 million children of primary school age remain out of school, with the majority of them coming from marginalized groups. In addition, many children do not have reading and numeracy skills. Simply attending school does not mean that children are learning.
Today more than 1 billion children are at risk of falling behind due to school closures arising from the Covid pandemic. To keep the world’s children learning, countries have been trying to arrange remote education programmes. Yet many of the children - particularly those in poorer households and including poor children in the Western world, do not have internet access, personal computers, TVs or even radio at home. Learning inequalities are thus heightened. Students lacking access to the technologies needed for home-based learning have limited means to continue their education.
We have a long way to go to achieve equality of opportunity in primary education and therefore in education at every level.
Some Possible Actions
Offer to volunteer in your local primary school. Read to the children, ask questions, suggest outings.
Read the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child. Do a survey of children in your area and identify what help some of them may need to achieve their rights and to fulfil their dreams.
Encourage links between children in your home area and children in the developing world. This could be through your church or a local school. The children might exchange photographs, stories, letters etc