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Monday, April 22, 2024

Quality education for all will benefit us globally

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Imagine if your child didn’t have access to free education, or any sort of education for that matter.

As a parent, guardian or mentor how would that make you feel?

I imagine you’d not only feel angry, but you’d probably also be leery of the child’s future because you understand that knowledge is power and a child without education becomes powerless to society.

Currently more than 75 million children’s futures are at risk because of a global education crisis. Right now, there are 75 million children worldwide who are not enrolled in primary school. Even more disappointing are the 226 million adolescents who do not have an opportunity to attend secondary school.

During his campaign, President Barack Obama pledged $2 billion to be applied towards a global education fund. The fund would ensure that children throughout the world would have access to free, quality education.

There is a civil movement, the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) that “works to hold governments accountable for their repeated promises to provide education for children in developing countries.”

GCE’s mission to hold governments around the world accountable for their educational promises is “all in an effort to prevent worldwide conflict, child mortality, disease and poverty.”

With Obama’s plan to take troops out of Afghanistan in the next couple of years, 2011 would be a great time for his administration to include the $2 billion for educational advancement in the budget. Children worldwide deserve access to free, quality education.

Some people may say that rather than focusing on education opportunities for the world’s children, we need to worry about our own by honing in on America’s children. While I can certainly understand and respect this viewpoint, it’s always important to look at the big picture.

We live in a global society. While we are all separate countries, we have common threads that bind us; be it trade, commerce or international security. Therefore, we must attack educational problems globally because we are all inadvertently affected by the lack thereof. Investing in every child’s educational success will result in a world that is healthier, wealthier and safer.

GCE outlines specific reasons a global fund for education makes sense:

* It would be an independent, multilateral approach that would pool the investments of every nation.

* It would engage donor countries, developing countries and civil society in a model based on measured results.

* It would work to fill the gap – not be the sole funding source – for programs already in place, which need every bit of funding to be successful.

Here are some ways education saves lives:

* An estimated 700,000 cases of HIV/AIDS could be prevented each year in Africa alone, if all children received a primary education.

* In Africa, five million children die before their fifth birthday, yet children of mothers with just a few years of primary education are 40 percent more likely to survive in adulthood.

* Providing mothers with basic education is more effective than food aid in ending childhood malnutrition.

The great Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

This statement is so true. Nearly all of the acts of violence, terror and destruction are because of ignorance. Education is awareness and awareness leads to empowerment. Hopefully the president will hold true to his promise and realize the tremendous strides we can make globally, simply by educating our children.

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