Access to a quality education is a right. Unfortunately over 60 million school aged children world wide are not enrolled in school. Learn about the barriers to education, how the lack of education for some affects everyone and what students can do to make a difference.
Want to see why educating all children matters? Watch this great video from Global Citizen.
Why are so many children not enrolled in school? Why are many students who do attend school still unable to read or write? Explore some of the barriers to a quality education:
Poverty - In many countries, education is not free and for many families, paying school tuition and fees is just not possible due to their financial situation. Watch the video, Haiti: Education for All, to learn more about why attending school in Haiti is so difficult.
Child Labor - Often children either never start school or are forced to leave early so they can enter the work force. Some children work to help support their families while others are sold into slave labor. To learn more about Haitian restaveks, watch this CNN video.
Gender Inequality - In many countries, the opportunity to get an education is based on one thing...whether you are a boy or girl. Learn more about girls' education from UNGEI - United Nations Girls' Education Initiative
Teacher Shortage, especially trained teachers
Poor learning environments - Overcrowded classrooms, poor lighting, lack of supplies, and unsafe conditions all contribute to a poor education.
Why invest in education? Education is essential to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Check out the infographic from United Nations' Education First initiative why education is important and what needs to be done to support it.
How The Power of Education Foundation is making a difference in education:
PEF supports a tuition-free school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti that currently has 224 students enrolled in grade K-8. Most of the students would not be able to attend school without the support of PEF.
57% of the students are girls
Students receive two meals a day and ongoing medical care so they are better able to learn
Highly qualified, caring teachers - All teachers have completed university teaching programs and continue to improve their skills through ongoing teacher training programs are offered through PEF.
Small class sizes with a 19:1 student/teacher ratio.
PEF opened a school library with over 2000 books in French and Haitian Creole
PEF provides ongoing parent/family education sessions on a variety of health topics, parenting skills, the importance of an education.
Students can follow the comprehensive guided inquiry, Ensuring Access to Quality Education, from the Peace Corps' World Wise Schools Program for an in-depth lesson on why educating every child is important and how education impacts so many other things. Created for middle school students, but can be adapted for high school students.
TEACHunicef has a variety of lessons, videos and stories highlighting the issues and challenges girls face in getting an education. Middle school and high school lessons.
This Child, Every Child by David J. Smith
If the World were a Village by David J. Smith
Rain School by James Rumford – Set in Chad, Africa, Elementary Age
Saraswati’s Way by Monica Schröder -Set in India. A story of perseverance set in India, Middle School Aged
My Name is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams - Set in the US and Sudan. A story of a refugee child, seeking an education.
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson - The story of Greg Mortenson, importance of literacy and education, Elementary- aged
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter - Set in Iraw. Upper Elementary aged
My Librarian is a Camel by Ruurs, Margariet - About mobil libraries in remote places in the world. Elementary
Plan a Service Project...
Are you ready to change the life of a child through education? There are many online resources to help you plan a service learning fundraising campaign. Here are links to a few good ones...
There are endless ways to support our education program. Use one of the following activities (or come up with your own) to challenge your students, classmates, friends and family to get involved.
Chores for Change Challenge
Change Matters: Education Needs Change Drive - Great project for student groups like Junior National Honor Society, Advisory/Student Councils, youth groups, clubs, classrooms, and entire schools.
Change Matters: Education Needs Change Drive Collection Cans for home
Give Up to Give Back Campaign - Pick one thing to give up (candy, ice cream, soda, vending machines, going out to dinner,etc) for a day, week, month to raise funds for our education programs.
Special Day (hat day, crazy hair day, electronics day) where students pay $1 to participate
Change Education Wall of Fame - This can be done in conjunction with any other fundraising activity. For every donation collected, students can write their name on a small paper cutout (ideally designed by a student) and place on a designated wall in the school. (Think of when you make a donation to support a charity at a store checkout.) Continue to add to the wall throughout the week, month or year to show students how small acts can really add up over time.
Wrap it Up: Reflecting on the experience
Reflection is an important component of the service learning program. Through structured reflection, students are able to make connections between their service experience and what they've learned.
Generator School Network has a wonderful resource booklet full of reflection activities for K-12.