Every year, on November 20, the world celebrates Universal Children’s Day to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the Convention of the Rights of the Child in 1989.
Both recognize that free and compulsory primary education is a right of all children and essential to their fulfillment as adults.
More than 260 million children are not in school and two-thirds of children in school will reach the end of primary without knowing how to read. The Global Partnership for Education is working with 65+ developing country partners to strengthen their education systems so that all children, regardless of their economic status, gender, disability or location, can go to school and learn.
Here’s how GPE partner countries are implementing policies that further the right to education...
Getting girls to go to school and stay in school requires addressing a variety of barriers that are holding them back. From supporting parents and communities to recognize the value of educating girls, to revising textbooks that perpetuate negative gender stereotypes, this blog highlights how Kenya, Lesotho, South Sudan and Uganda are strengthening their girls’ education strategies with support from GPE.
…for children with disabilities
Education is one of the most effective ways to unlock the potential of children with disabilities, yet 40% of children with disabilities are not in primary school in developing countries.
In Zanzibar, the government set up the National Council for People with Disabilities and a Department of Disability Affairs to ensure that the rights and needs of children with disabilities are part of national education strategies and programs.
Some of these programs include conducting awareness-raising activities for parents, teachers and communities to ensure the education system does not leave children with disabilities behind.
…for children affected by crisis and conflict, including refugees
Conflicts and crises turn children’s lives upside down and leave them stranded without an education. GPE helps countries strengthen and rebuild their education systems during and after a crisis so that children can continue to learn and build a better future for themselves.
In Bangladesh, Chad, and Uganda, GPE is supporting governments and partners so that refugee children can continue to go to school and learn, alongside children from host communities.
During the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Education was able to continue providing education through a radio program while schools were closed for almost a year.
While in Afghanistan, the government recognized that the journey to and from school is often unsafe in times of crisis, and established community schools.
There are many more examples of the efforts that partner countries are making every day to ensure children can exercise their right to a quality education.