Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Education: A Human Right

I begin this posting with a quote that I used this summer for my thesis:

"Hope dims for universal education by 2015 … The total number of children out of school is … 69 million in 2008. Almost half of these children (31 million) are in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than a quarter (18 million) are in Southern Asia." (see The Millennium Development Goals Report, United Nations, 2010).

In their 2010 analysis, The Global Campaign For Education reported that if “current trends continue, the slowdown in progress in enrolments will mean that in 2015 there will be more children out of school than there are today. In addition, too often the quality of education on offer is very poor, leading to early drop-out and illiteracy”.

As we lead up to International Literacy Day, UNESCO report that in 2008, 796 million adults (15 years and older) could not read or write. The Right to Education Project state what many of us have come to expect from education, but one that we don't always see in real numbers.

"As well as being a right in itself, the right to education is also an enabling right. Education ‘creates the “voice” through which rights can be claimed and protected’, and without education people lack the capacity to ‘achieve valuable functioning as part of the living’. If people have access to education they can develop the skills, capacity and confidence to secure other rights. Education gives people the ability to access information detailing the range of rights that they hold, and government’s obligations. It supports people to develop the communication skills to demand these rights, the confidence to speak in a variety of forums, and the ability to negotiate with a wide range of government officials and power holders."

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