What do you need to know about education and the developing world?
Education is one of the most valuable resources for children in developing areas where over 75% of the population lives on less than $2.00 a day and more than 69 million children do not have schools to attend. According to the United Nations, just one year’s education for girls reduces infant mortality by 5% to 10%. But some children don’t have the opportunity to learn in an environment conducive to learning, off the ground, and out of the weather elements like storms, rain, and wind. Instead, they sit on the ground under a tree or inside a lean-to structure erected out of a few tree limbs, palm tree leaves for a back wall and corrugated sheets of zinc for a roof for a make-shift school for village children.
Take a look at the answers to some of the top questions about educational access, child outcomes, and opportunities in developing countries.
Do All Children Attend School?
You may see packed school buses driving through your neighborhood. But this doesn’t mean every child, worldwide, attends (or even has access to) a formal educational setting. According to statistics from the United Nations, in 2018 nearly 260 million children across the globe were not in school. This equals nearly one-fifth of the global student population.
Why Don’t Some Children Attend School?
The inability to attend school is not a choice for many children — especially in developing countries. Financial barriers make it almost impossible (if not entirely impossible) for some communities to provide children with formal schooling opportunities. These barriers make it a challenge to finance building projects that provide safe school structures, hire qualified teachers, and pay for books, paper, and other educational materials.
Beyond the lack of schools, teachers, and school supplies, many children in developing countries don’t have access to necessary transportation, healthcare services, or proper nutrition. Without the ability to meet basic needs, these children often don’t have the ability to attend a school or learn in an educational environment. They are stuck doing harsh, grueling manual labor where their life expectancy is sometimes reduced to 45 years for men and 47 years for women.
Where Don’t Children Attend School?
Rural Cambodia and Uganda have some of the lowest school enrollment numbers globally, according to the International Monetary Fund. In these areas, educational attainment reflects the economy of individual regions. This means the poorer the overall economy, the less likely it is that children in the area will complete some type of formal schooling.
Why is An Education Important?
Access to education matters. Formal education helps children to build fundamental skills and learn basic academics, but the school environment also provides the chance to learn much more than the ABCs and 123s. Quality education can help a child in a developing country to lead a life that goes well beyond the poverty they’ve come to know in their daily lives. Education can also lead to better health outcomes and improve gender equality.
The effects of early and sustained education are especially notable for girls. According to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), education for young women can decrease fertility rates and maternal and child deaths. Education can also lead to increased use of contraception, lower the risk of contracting HIV or passing the disease from mother to baby, and may impact a woman’s decision to marry later in life.
Even though education has marked benefits for girls, a formal schooling environment can help all children succeed. The Center for Global Development notes that for each year of school, some people can earn up to 10 percent higher wages (compared to people who do not attend school).
This can lead to much more than just personal economic growth. Beyond the ability to become financially independent, increased access to education can help community members to build a foundation for national economic change.
What Can You Do To Help Children Attend School?
You might live far away from Cambodia or Uganda, but this doesn’t mean you can’t help us build schools in Cambodia or build schools in Uganda and impact the lives of children who do not have schools to attend and save young girls at risk for human trafficking. Even though you can’t build a school yourself, you can make a difference for future generations to come.
The Teach Them To Fish Foundation builds schools in rural Cambodia and builds schools in rural Uganda and provides financial assistance to children, families, and communities, and can help you to make a positive change in someone else’s life. Through your support, we can build schools, provide support for teachers, or even help children get the nutrition they need to attend school.
Are you looking for a way to help children in Cambodia and Uganda? Contact the Teach Them To Fish Foundation for more information.