Raised by parents who never had the privilege of getting an education, my siblings and I were forced to finish a degree. My parents worked very hard just to be able to send us to the best universities. They believe that getting us educated, having a degree from a prestigious school will take us out of poverty. We will never live the life they lived.
And my parents were right. I’m now a doctor, and my siblings are both nurses. We are living comfortable lives. Our parents no longer have to work in the fields. It’s about time that they enjoy their retirement. But no matter how comfortable life is, I will never forget the hard life we had. It’s a thing I would want my children to know so that they may appreciate how lucky they are. The best legacy I could leave them is a quality education.
But I am wondering, how’s life going to be for those who are not given a chance to quality education. It’s everyone’s right to have an education, but not everyone is privileged.
How can a child from a low-income family develop his skills to reach his potential as a human being if quality education is not accessible to him? How then can he contribute to society?
Let’s admit it; not all parents are as diligent and as persistent as my parents. I know quite a number of families who are not interested in sending their children to school. They would rather have their kids work to be able to contribute something to the family. This is the sad truth. And this is not just in my country.
In some countries, it’s even worse.
The True Face Of Right To Education Around The World
Education is still inaccessible to millions of children all over the world. Statistics revealed that almost 72 million children who are supposed to be in primary grades are not in school. What will happen to these kids if there are still adults who remain illiterate and are not aware that getting an education is necessary to improve their living condition and those of their families?
UNESCO stated that the number of children not getting the proper elementary education is worse in countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. Common reasons for this are wealth and gender disparity.
Lack Of Funding
There are international communities who pledge funds that aim to establish education system for children. But these funds are not enough to sustain the sizeable needs of some developing countries. There are not enough financial resources to build more schools, provide school materials, and recruit and train teachers. Such has a considerable impact on the quality of teaching.
Disparity Between Girls And Boys
Girls are often on the losing end. They always have the least access to education. Girls in the Arab states, in central, Southern, and Western Asia are treated differently because of their culture and tradition. What’s more alarming is that in Somalia and Afghanistan, the government is not making any effort to narrow down the gap concerning how girls and boys should get educated.
Never have they realized that these girls will be mothers who will raise children of the future.
Children Caught In The Middle Of War
Education systems are doomed in countries living in war. UNICEF reports that 27 million children living in countries affected by conflicts are not able to go to school. Because of the ongoing war, students and teachers are forced to flee from their homes that is why schooling is disrupted.
Lack Of Infrastructure
When we were younger, we used to walk from school to home (and vice versa). It’s hard, but we have to for there are no other means. Walking the distance from home to school is still a struggle for some even to these days. It’s hard to keep up to it especially for children suffering from malnutrition and those with a disability. Not to mention, the dangers it poses (especially to girls) traveling long distances and dangerous paths.
It is clear that every child has the right to receive a quality education. But poverty, lack of money, infrastructure, disparity, and conflicts have been barriers to schooling for centuries. Getting educated is very expensive for low-income families that children are forced to either stay at home or work to be of help to the family. Wars ruined not just the present lives of innocent people but the future of innocent children. Culture and tradition have not been fair to girls who wanted to enrich themselves through education. The government should do something on how to improve the infrastructure to make going to school a safe journey to every kid.
It’s not just the role of the government to support, the parents to provide, the teachers to educate. It’s accountability we all have to take if we want to wipe out poverty and improve the lives of our children. Taking the responsibility of giving our children the education they rightfully need is taking the responsibility of providing them and the children to come, a better and brighter future.