57 Million Children Don’t Go To School, And This Is The Biggest Crisis Our Future Generations Will Face

Posted on April 30, 2014 in Campaign, Child Rights, Education

By Abhilash Borah:

As a newly appointed Global Youth Ambassador for ‘A World at School’, I want to call attention to the 57 million children around the world who are currently being denied their basic human right to an education.

I am joined in this call to action by 500 other young advocates for global education. Together, we make up the Global Youth Ambassadors group — launched on April 1, by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown.

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The world we live in is facing major challenges. We need to act now in order to create a better future for the generations to come. Education empowers everything. Individuals, communities and societies are the beneficiaries of quality education. Quality education should be a universal and life long journey for all. All around the world, visionary innovators are addressing critical challenges to provide access to education. Ideas need to shared and nurtured. Where there is will, there is power for transformation. There are 57 million children around the world who don’t go to school. 250 million more are not learning. Statistically, 26 billion dollars are needed to fill up the funding gap in global education. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2 set out to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere would be able to complete a full course of primary education. Yet, as we approach the 2015 deadline, 57 million children remain out of school. Millions more are not learning. At the current rate of progress, it will be 2086 before the last girl is able to go to attend primary school. This is unacceptable. We must accelerate efforts to get every child into school.

In order to do so, we must eliminate the largest barriers that keep millions of children out of school. From now, until the end of 2015, we will join forces with leading campaigners, global leaders, NGOs, policy experts, and the faith and business community in a countdown to the end of 2015. We will coordinate shared actions to accelerate progress and accountability over the final 500 days of the MDGs. Education unites us all. Education advances our shared goals across the many social justice campaigns we collectively support. From poverty alleviation and health, to economic empowerment, child labor and girls’ rights, we will not achieve our goals without ensuring every child goes to school. Education is the only acceptable answer to the discrimination faced by millions of children every day. By including education as a key message in our ongoing campaigns and mobilizations, we can build the world we all want to live in. Shazia and Kainat are two of my fellow Ambassadors. Along with Malala Yousafzai, they were shot by the Taliban for going to school in Pakistan just over a year ago. Their story, and that of so many other of the youth advocates I have joined forces with, inspires me to stand up for the millions of children that are kept out of school because of poverty, early marriage, child labour and different forms of discrimination. As firm believers that education is the answer to the greatest challenges we face as a society, we ask for your help in urging leaders to raise budgets, build schools, train teachers and improve learning for all children. Where there is education, there is hope. It has been shown that we could lift over 170 million people out of poverty simply by empowering every child in low-income countries with the basic reading skills.

So, why are we not making this a reality?

Unless we revert current trends, we will not achieve universal primary education before 2086. Being active citizens of the globe, let us pledge to bring every child to school and make education a reality for all. I request the authorities concerned to take necessary steps for eradicating the anti-social elements which hinders child growth, development and education.