The 59 Million Children the MDGS Did Not Reach
Photo Courtesy Of A World at School.
In the fifteen years since the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were first launched in 2000, the global education community has been making strides in getting the world’s out-of-school children into school and learning. But, as GBC-Education Executive Chair Sarah Brown pointed out in a Huffington Post article published earlier today, the international community is nowhere close to resting as long as the 59 million primary school-aged children around the world remain out of school.
“The hardest to reach have been left adrift by the international community,” writes Sarah Brown. “The most vulnerable children, the most marginalized, the girls married off as children, the boys and girls forced into work in order for their families to survive and the many children caught in the aftermath of conflict — these are the 59 million the MDG did not reach.”
Most recently, GBC-Education has successfully pushed for a Global Humanitarian Platform and Fund for Education in Emergencies to ensure that epidemics like Ebola and disasters like the Nepal Earthquake don’t jeopardize children’s right to education in the future; GBC-Education also launched Safe Schools Nigeria in an effort to reinstill a sense of security within schools, even in the most dangerous of areas; GBC-Education partner, A World at School, built the largest and most robust petition for global education, gaining the attention of world leaders; and, most recently, an International Commission on the Financing of Global Education Opportunities was launched to showcase the cross-sector benefits of an educated population.
At this crucial moment marking the ebb and flow of success and stalls in the wake of the MDGs and the flurry of activity that is sure to follow the official adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, Sarah Brown calls for the development community, the private sector, civil society, and heads of government to pause and reflect on the past fifteen years.
“So where are we now, 15 years later? The overall result has been to get under halfway there,” she writes. In fact, there is much work to be done — work that requires the collaboration of more than just a few key donor countries, but also the critical need for private sector support. Businesses have already been investing in education to make this happen, and GBC-Education’s businesses recently shared lessons
to consider when working towards achieving this goal.
“We have to use double-shift schools; we have to create a humanitarian-funding stream to create the best and safest schools possible for refugee children; we have to keep up the battle to end child marriage, to end enforced and dangerous child labour; we have to end the stigma of disability and difference that prevents millions of children getting to school; we have to make schools safe and the journey to school safe for all; and we must support our teachers and improve learning for every child.”
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