With back to school season in full swing, it is easy to get caught in the whirlwind of school supply lists, making lunches and drop-off lines. Even if you are not in this season of life yourself, it is a recurring norm in American culture.
For those of us in the United States, education is a given. Most children will go to school, get an education, graduate and get a job. However, the reality is in many underserved countries, the state of education is one of crisis.
Recently, there has been a global movement emphasizing education as a basic right. There is a fight to make education free and available to all children. Achieving universal primary education is at the top of the list for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and is arguably the solution to many of the other goals set to be achieved by 2030.
While achieving this goal would be an important step in the right direction, what seems to be absent is the crucial principle of quality over quantity. Attending school is not necessarily synonymous with learning. If we have deemed this a worthy endeavor, isn’t it worth doing well?
According to UNESCO, 264 million children are out of school, and the United Nations estimates that 600 million children are in school but learning little.
So, what do we do about it?
Thankfully, there are many organizations whose mission it is to help schools provide education to children around the world. Edify seeks to be part of the solution as well, with our mission to improve and expand sustainable Christ-centered education globally. We know that for lasting change to occur, there needs to be ownership from locals in the process. Therefore, we look to make an impact by empowering teachers through training, helping schools grow through loan capital, improving learning environments, investing in school leadership and offering opportunities for education technology.
More often than not, teachers at Edify partner schools have no formal training themselves – just a passion for seeing the children in their community flourish. When that teacher has an opportunity to learn how to teach from a Biblical worldview, develop classroom management skills, and help students develop critical thinking skills, the learning that takes place exponentially grows.
Additionally, when an Edify partner school takes out a loan to build a classroom with proper ventilation and lighting or to build safe and proper restrooms and sanitation facilities, how much better can a student focus on learning instead of getting through the day?
The future of education
While 250 million children may seem like a daunting number, Edify is committed to transforming the lives of students in our 10 countries of operation. Part of our strategic plan is to impact 1 million students by 2020—and we are getting close! Since we began work in 2010 we have impacted 835,756 students.
We are thankful that there are many individuals, organizations and governments committed to providing children with access to quality education. We need to keep striving for quality and remember that access doesn’t mean success. Will you join us in bringing quality, Christ-centered education to students around the globe?