Every Child Has the Right to Good Education

Published November 15th, 2021 - 06:29 GMT
First introduced in 1954, World Children’s Day has been around for 67 years to remind us of the importance of giving children their full rights.
World Children's Day 2021-Right to Good Education

First introduced in 1954, World Children’s Day has been around for 67 years to remind us of the importance of giving children their full rights. With many children falling between the cracks and ending up witnessing wars, starvation and abuse, it is more important than ever before to highlight the need for a better present and future for the children of this world. 

Every single child has the right to feel safe, loved, respected, and have the freedom to choose and live a dignified life. Children also have the right to good and quality education. But with the pandemic destroying almost everything standing in its way, children are facing an educational crisis. Whether it is the closure of schools, lack of readiness to turn to distance learning, or even losing the ability to pay school fees, the pandemic has significantly impacted what was an already fragile educational accessibility.

It is reported that around 72M children are not in primary school and about 759M adults are illiterate. These numbers and alarming and the consequences that they entail can be disastrous on so many levels. The most terrifying part is that the pandemic has further worsened the situation for many parents and their kids. It is reported that only 8% of children in 46 different countries say they feel like they are learning anything when studying remotely.

Not only that but with distance learning being a challenge for many families, especially those who do not have the necessary tools or knowledge, it is said that 1 in 4 children did not have access to learning material at home. But the problem here does not only lie in the access to education, but also in the consequences lack of education can entail.

Studies show that a child’s wellbeing can be significantly impacted if their education was disrupted. This comes to show that the impact on kids who never even had the chance to know what education is might be even worse. 

The lack of access to good education can be due to a variety of different reasons, but the outcome is one: injustice and ripping children from their right to learn. One factor is poverty and marginalization. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination are a leading cause to way some children find themselves on the outskirts of the education system. For instance, more than two-thirds of the 759M illiterate people are in fact women.

Not only that, but only 39% of rural girls attend secondary school, compared to 45% of boys, says global statistics. In countries facing severe destruction and war like Yemen, 80% of girls are most likely to never receive any kind of education. The gap in the education system between genders is still quite wide and has to be addressed urgently in less developed countries. But girls are not the only ones suffering, because boys, and really all children who do not have access to safe and reliable education are being treated unjustly.

If we look at the wars happening in different countries across the globe, one can see that children do not even feel safe when attending schools. So no only are these kids not getting a well-rounded and advanced approach to education but they are also living in a constant state of fear. In what world is that fair? 

The right of children to education will not be complete if universal access to education is not achieved. In addition, poverty can also be a driving force to why many do not attend schools. For instance, in countries where good education is not affordable to the majority of its people then something must be fundamentally wrong. How do governments and world leaders expect to decrease crimes and injustice if they are not giving the needed tools to future generations?

Lack of education means that children coming from unsafe and abusive backgrounds will not get the chance to know that this is not the right way to live. When ignorance prevails, security becomes scarce and crimes become the new norm.

Lack of good education also means that we are ripping children from the right to train their mind and become open to the different aspects and possibilities this world has to offer. There is a chance a genius kid might be able to find cures to terminal illnesses if only he had the chance to get a decent education.

The reality is that by not providing access to real and high quality education not only are we being selfish, unfair and point blank ignorant but we are shooting ourselves in the foot. We need to invest in creating a more stable and accessible approach to education, where every child can learn, grow, and help rebuild our world. 

Source: Twitter (@NelsonMandela)

Despite the long way we still have to go to guarantee that every child receives their rights, we cannot deny the great strides already being made. Non-profit organizations like UNICEF are putting in significant efforts to transform education and make it more accessible to everyone. UNICEF, for instance, highlights that not every child who attends school is getting the education they need and thus there is an urgent need to reimagine education.

The idea is not only to offer education for free and have everyone attend school, but rather it is to offer a place where basic skills, both personally and academically, can be taught and then nurtured. That is precisely why NGOs like UNICEF are actively working towards creating a quality and inclusive model of learning that every child can access. 

The world has learned the hard way that the lack of education and knowledge is way too high for any country to afford. We owe it to ourselves and our children to create a world where every child gets to be a child. Where they can practice their rights as much as anyone else. Every child deserves to live a good life and be given the resources they need to create a good life as well. 

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