On Education: Schooled But Un-schooled ?

Piyush Bhartiya
Modified on 2017-11-01 in Most Visited
Read time: 4 mins

The Right to Education

Not all children going to school can be counted in the numbers of “being educated.” Data from the United Nations show that around 10 children and teenagers remain uneducated even after going to school. The UN describes the data findings as “staggering” and representing a “learning crisis”- a disturbing factor. In sub-Saharan Africa or in conflict zones or more precisely the third world countries(the periphery) more focus has been given on education and establishment of schools. But the alarming fact is that even after establishment of schools the students fail to meet the simple definition of literacy propounded by UNESCO. The children are inefficient in Mathematics and English. Fail to read a simple line or comprehend it.

Great Disparities…

In periphery underdeveloped countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the research suggests 88% of children and adolescents will enter adulthood without a basic understanding of subjects and proficiency in reading. Also, in central Asia, huge percentage fail to  reach an adequate level in literacy.

The reports of world powers warns saying that if there is any fall in education level the social and economic progress will come to a halt. In North America and Europe, only 14% of young students dropout at such earlier stage. However, it should be noted that only 10% of total population of children in the world live in these developed core nations.

Silvia Montoya, director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in a report stated that it was a “wake-up call for far greater investment in the quality of education”.

This problem of “schooling without learning” was also embarked upon by World Bank.It warned that millions of young people in periphery and semi-periphery countries were receiving inadequate education that would leave them trapped in low-paid and insecure jobs. This would somewhere lead to ” moral and economic crisis”.

Researchers warned the administration in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nicaragua and other such countries that this might in long run be hazardous for the upliftment of their society, because it is a matter of concern, to notice that students, who when after years in school were unable to do simple sums or read simple sentences might as well in future be of no use to the country and its economy.

A basic level of proficiency in primary school was reached by 99% in Japan, but by only 7% in Mali. The great disparities clearly show here.

There were also wide internal fluctuations. At the end of a session of primary school in Cameroon, 5% of girls from the poorest families were at a level to continue with their education, compared to 76% of girls from wealthy families, the reports suggested.

The Culprits of such a scenario

The World Bank denotes certain factors to be blamed for such a condition in the world. They are:-

  1. It said that there was no availability of basic amenities and students were not in a condition to comprehend.
  2. Malnutrition and ill health deprived them of learning and anticipating practical things.
  3. Poverty being yet another factor that deprived them of their right to being educated because they began school physically and mentally underdeveloped and seek fulfillment of basic amenities rather than education.
  4. Quality of teaching compromised, as all the teachers not being particularly well educated themselves and others avoid going to remote areas.
  5. Teachers not being regular, because countries are not economically strong and are unable to pay teachers regularly.
  6. Education is not taken seriously by the pupils because the basic amenities of food, clothing and shelter are yet to be given in abundance.

Steps Taken for a Positive Response

Chief economist of World Bank, Paul Romer, says that there had to be a more honest admission that for many children being in school did not mean worthwhile lessons. Progress will only occur once the reality is recognized and accepted.

However there are countries that had made progress, such as South Korea and Vietnam and several others.

  1. The French President Emmanuel Macron decided to set education as a top priority of French development.
  2. At the United Nations last week there were international pledges for greater investment in education.
  3. Western countries focus about quality and testing, the poorer countries, aimed at “too little measurement of learning, not too much”.
  4. Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown wanted to have a Global Partnership for Education by 2020, which channels aid to education projects and will have funds of worth $2bn.
  5. Whereas, the European Union announced that 8% of its humanitarian budget would be spent on education.
  6. The Education Above All Foundation and UNICEF, along with other charities, will take an initiative to donate an extra amount of $60 million to children missing school because of Syrian Civil War.


Thus, an investment in knowledge pays an interest for lifetime and as it is very well said by Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon you can choose to change the world.”



About the Author

Piyush BhartiyaPiyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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