It’s time to ‘close the gap’ in education…
Why is it fundamental to remove disparities in educational access, inclusion and achievement around the world?
An educated society with equal opportunities can be a step towards making the world more secure. HG Wells, an English writer once stated, ‘human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe’. By widening our reach and effectiveness in providing basic education to people in deprived parts of the world, we can play a powerful role in reducing human insecurity of every kind. Human insecurity is not just restricted to violence and terrorism but illiteracy and innumeracy as well.
The inability to write, read or speak a language is an extreme case of insecurity, which we can abolish by simply providing education opportunities to those less fortunate than ourselves. This form of deprivation ruins the lives of a large proportion of the global population and we have the power to make a change. For British born children, like myself a free education was a privilege, a right we were so lucky to have. However in other parts of the world, economic circumstances of families often act as obstacles preventing parents from sending their children to school. In other cases affordability is not the issue but simply a lack of access to schools or teachers.
This is where CAREducation Trust (CARE) comes in to assist in providing the appropriate infrastructure, skills and expertise to educate such societies. Basic education can be very important in helping people to get jobs, gain full employment and live financially independent lives. This can often help offset the crucial choice parents have to make between their child’s labour contribution to support the family in the short run and educating them with the hope of a better future for them in the long run as a result.
A brighter future does not only mean financial stability but social stability as well. When people are illiterate they are unable to understand their legal rights, expression of political views and basic human rights in particular for underprivileged women.
“Basic education is not just an arrangement for training to develop skills (important as that is), it is also a recognition of the nature of the world, with its diversity and richness, and an appreciation of the importance of freedom and reasoning as well as friendship. The need for that understanding – that vision – has never been stronger.” – Amartya Sen, The Commonwealth Education Conference, Edinburgh
One of the Eight UN Millennium goals is to achieve Universal Primary School Education by 2015. Of the 70 million children who cannot go to school, at least half live in India and Africa in dire poverty. All that these children need is a chance at a better life. CARE strongly believes in equipping impoverished children with an education and (or) a vocational training, to help give them the opportunity of a better life. It is their only way to fight out of the cycle of illiteracy and poverty which they are born into.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” – Confucius
Let’s work together to give these underprivileged children the opportunities they deserve.