“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
Education is vital to a thriving society. A society without education becomes the breeding ground for violence and intolerance. The future impact that education and knowledge can have on young people’s lives is immense. Children who stay in school earn higher wages and tend to have smaller, healthier families that are vaccinated, well-nourished and educated. They have the skills to start community businesses, find their voice and choose peaceful paths to express desires for change. Each child represents a future, the future of the community, of the country, and indeed the future of the whole world.
The Challenges We Face
- 141,000,000 people in East Africa live on less than $2US/day.
- Typical family size has 6 children.
- Cost of education remains the largest obstacle: $750 full board, $30 uniform/shoes, $30 school supplies.
- Low innovation and entrepreneurship contributes to high unemployment rates and dependency on foreign aid.
Access to Education
- East Africa has high initial primary enrollment rates (>90%),but lose 30-40% before they complete primary school.
- In 2007, only 25% of elementary school students went on to high school because of the expenses.
- In 2006, 101 million children, more than half of them girls, were not attending primary school, the majority of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Sexual violence, unsafe school environments and inadequate sanitation disproportionately affect girls’ self-esteem, participation and retention in school.
Quality of Education
- East Africa struggles to provide quality education and infrastructure as indicated by student-to-teacher ratios, primary completion rates, secondary enrolment, and youth literacy rates.
- Student-to-teacher ratios have increased in sub-Saharan Africa due to mandatory enrolment. East Africa averages 72 students to 1 teacher.
- Four million new primary school teachers are needed in East Africa alone to reach the goal of universal primary education by 2015.
Crowded and dilapidated classrooms, coupled with insufficient teaching resources and instructional time, reflect well-below average standard of educational institutions. Advanced learning is impeded due to nonexistent basic math and science materials.
1 World Bank. Data refer to the most recent year available between 1990 and 2005 2, 3, 5 Source: UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2006 4 UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2009
By providing a safe and healthy learning environment, children have a place to sit, water to use, and food so that they can focus on their stud
World Education Forum (26-28 April 2000, Dakar) adopted the Dakar Framework for Action, Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments.