This week the world celebrated the first International Day of Education. It needs to be a celebration of achievements and a commitment to do much, much better.
Across the globe there are hundreds of millions of children and youth out of school because of extreme poverty, conflict, gender discrimination and other reasons such as that simply, there are not enough resources allocated to education.
These out of school children are evidence that some governments are undervaluing the very resource that enables them to grow, to prosper, to be recognized for their contributions–a quality basic education.
The data are not controversial–investments in education improve economies, health and well-being, population planning, the environment, employability, housing, and peace-building and sustainability, to name a few and as documented by many studies including those by the United Nations and the World Bank. The costs of not educating are higher than those of sound, universal education systems. In Mali, alone, research by Educate A Child a programme of Education Above All Foundation and Results for Development, estimates that not educating out of school children results in an annual loss in GDP by almost 7%.
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Photo © Results for Development/Michael Duff