Education in Danger: Time to Worry for the UN
There has been “nil progress” in tackling the disrupted education in many of the world’s poorest countries, as reported by the UN agency, which now has become a major concern for the authorities.
For this, several reasons are to be blamed to as devised by the UN. There are still 123 million school-age children without schools, as reported by UNICEF. The major ones being for such a condition being:-
- Poverty serves as the primary reason for this situation. The UN’s children’s agency blamed “pervasive levels of poverty”, conflict and humanitarian emergencies for such a scenario.
- There is not much initiative taken to promote the concern of need of schooling; and International pledges to create school places were not addressing “the realities of a volatile world.”
- The UNICEF said despite continuous efforts by world leaders, there had been little progress in the past decade in ending the problem of children not having schools to attend. Steps are needed to be ensured for framing a better world.
UNICEF said efforts to increase the participation rate and admissions in school had “languished.” Those most likely to miss out and then suffer later are the poorest families from the poorest countries. However, the problem is most acute in sub-Saharan Africa, where the lack of school places has been exacerbated by an increasing population. This made this denial of right filled with hardship.
About a fifth of children in the world without access to schools and education are living in conflict zones. Conflicts in Syria and across the Middle East have rendered the improvements stagnant and caused considerable fall in education levels in the region. The result of this being an additional 3.4 million children out of school.
Now, evaluating the condition of the disputed regions, the situation is petrifying.
The Disputed regions and the Out-turn
The main areas where the education has been largely disrupted are the Disputed Regions. Such areas have large number of refugees whose education has been interrupted or living in areas where it is too dangerous to go to school or where school buildings have been destroyed causing an outrageous condition to survive.
But even though such scenarios are often seen, there have been initiatives taken for its improvement and the better has been seen. The out-turn of such improvements and initiatives taken were-
- Data says that the proportion of children without schools have fallen down to 11.5% from 12.8%.The UN agency highlighted the increases in children going to school in Ethiopia and Niger.
- There had been a goal devised by the international community in 2000 to provide a primary education for all children by 2015 – as part of the millennium development goals, which was accomplished to a certain extent.
- There had been rapid progress towards this target in the early years of the century, but the financial crisis had witnessed an initial failure. However, it was able to fulfill its goal to a certain extent.
The Probable Shortcomings
Even though the initiatives taken were fulfilled to a certain extent, the possible shortcomings were crystal clear. There were reforms made and failures faced but the aim was never diverted. The initiatives that look forward to certain reforms are-
- The international goals aims at universal primary education by 2030, but UNESCO said that on current trends and situation, this would not be achieved until 2042. A long journey to cover!
- The UN has also computed that to fulfill these objectives, another 70 million teachers (approx.) will be needed to deliver and ensure education promises for 2030. However, the current efforts and policies to keep up with the growing population were not enough; and making the situation and its understanding worse is illiteracy.
- Tackling the underlying problems, such as ending conflicts that made school unsafe would serve as a rapid progress on getting children into school.
- Shortage of funding serves yet another problem. Unicef said that up to June 2017, it had received only 12% of the funding needed to educate children in areas affected by a humanitarian crisis.
Thus, even amidst such scenario, there is urge for knowledge and the need for its establishment. It is the only tool that can put the prevailing conditions right; for Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.