Education for All
Educating the world's children, youth, and adults helps to break generational cycles of illiteracy and poverty. World Vision offers two types of learning opportunities in its education projects: formal and non-formal. Formal education takes place in a school setting and provides a curriculum-based learning environment for children at all levels of instruction. Non-formal education is community-based and may include adult learning programs, children and youth life skills development, and other learning experiences that integrate topics such as HIV awareness and health education.
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Nearly one-sixth of the world's population over the age of 15 cannot read or write. Though the number of children not attending primary school decreased from 115 million in 2002 to 72 million in 2007, the health and welfare of the children who are still not accessing learning opportunities are at greater risk. Many of these children face barriers to their education, such as conflict and emergencies, living in remote areas, the effects of the HIV and AIDS pandemic, child labor, extreme poverty, and discrimination.
Although these barriers have an impact on all children, girls are disproportionately affected. Of the children who do not attend school, 54 percent are girls. Schools have also lagged in improving student performance, thereby creating a backlog of children who repeat grades or are promoted through the system regardless of retained knowledge and skills.
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- About two-thirds of the 759 million adults (age 15 and older) worldwide who lack basic literacy skills are women.
- Approximately 72 million primary school-age children, 54 percent of whom are girls, are not enrolled in school.
- An estimated 70 percent of the world’s out-of-school children live in sub-Saharan Africa or South and West Asia.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, 66 percent of secondary school-age children are not enrolled in school.
- Far too many young people emerge from primary school unable to read or write. In some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, young adults with five years of primary schooling have a 40 percent chance of being illiterate.
- It will cost an estimated $16 billion per year to achieve universal primary education and wider Education for All goals by 2015.
Source: UNESCO 2010 Education For All Global Monitoring Report
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World Vision's Response
The education of children, youth, and adults is at the heart of sustainable development. Consequently, World Vision (WV) invests more in its education programs than any other sector, focusing on increasing access to quality learning opportunities for all children, especially children from disadvantaged backgrounds. WV’s goal is for children to attain functional literacy and numeracy and develop essential life skills by:
- Increasing children's access to equitable and quality early childhood education and primary education, with special attention to girls.
- Strengthening community involvement in education.
- Fostering an enabling environment for learning through partnerships and advocacy with communities, governments, universities, donors, and non-governmental organizations.
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In Indonesia, the Creating Learning Communities for Children project is focused on improving the quality of teaching and learning for primary school-aged children in WV's program areas. WV has developed strong partnerships with the local communities and with the Ministry of Education, which has enabled the program to be successful. Ninety percent of teachers are using active, joyful, and effective learning methods to create a more child-friendly atmosphere. School management committees have been developed to train the community on budgeting, raising resources, financial management, transparency, and other topics. Through this model, community participation has increased, which has helped to enhance teaching and learning at the school.
In Armenia, the USAID-funded Inclusive Education project seeks to build the capabilities of disabled people's organizations (DPOs) to promote the participation of children with disabilities and others who are normally excluded from education. The inclusion of children with disabilities presents a challenge for many schools, especially in villages and communities where there are still many children with disabilities of whom local administrations and schools are unaware. WV has helped more than 8,500 children with disabilities receive access to quality basic educational services, strengthened the capacity of DPOs to engage the local community on the importance of education for children with special education needs, and encouraged community participation in these efforts.
In Gaza, the Atfaluna Amaluna (Our Children, Our Hope) project supported by USAID is being implemented to improve community resiliency and psychosocial well-being through the application of targeted life skills education for children, youth, and their parents, as well as through strengthening of community networks, remedial education support, and other psychosocial events. Atfaluna Amaluna is engaging communities to identify ways in which they can support children in relevant and quality safe play and learning through the development of critical thinking, emotional management, assertive communication, building affirmative and mutual relationships, and assumption of responsibility for the collective good. More than 2,200 children will be impacted.
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Collaborations and partnerships
In addition to partnering with communities, Ministries of Education, NGOs, and UN bodies, WV is involved in:
- Basic Education Coalition
- Global Campaign for Education
- United Nations Girls' Education Initiative
- Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies.
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