Working toward a quality education for all.

One Year Later: Why It’s Especially Important to #FundEducation After a Disaster

by Lisa Lyons, 

In April and May 2015, two earthquakes of magnitudes 7.8 and 7.2 respectively devastated much of Nepal. The sudden loss of family members and homes shattered countless people’s lives. The sudden loss of thousands of schools, while understandably not people’s immediate focus of concern, made itself felt as the weeks passed and the desire to get “back to normal” strengthened.

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Why We #FundEducation: Meet AGE Africa Scholar, Cecelia

by Claudia Gonzalez, 

At sixteen years old, Cecelia, a young woman from Chiunda Village in Malawi, has already confronted countless barriers to receiving her education.

As early as primary school, Cecelia remembers watching her friends drop out – a fate that is all too common in the country of Malawi, where less than 6% of women hold a high school diploma. Throughout her adolescence, she has seen firsthand the problems of early marriage. One in every two girls nationwide is married or raising children by the age of 18.

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Realigning Our Priorities – A Focus on Early Childhood

by Molly Curtiss, 

The problem is not just the amount of funding for education, but how the available resources are being spent. In the past decade, tertiary education consistently received the highest proportion of education aid of any education sector, beating out even primary education year after year. Moreover, during this period, seven of the top fifteen donors to education increased the portion of their aid allocated to higher education and consequently decreased the portion to basic education.

Further, this aid to tertiary education isn’t being spent sustainably. A large percentage of growing funds to higher education have been used not to strengthen university systems in recipient countries but rather to provide scholarships for students to attend higher education institutions in donor countries. In 2012, for example, “for every US$1 disbursed in direct aid to early childhood care and education, the equivalent of US$58 went to support students from recipient countries at the post-secondary level in donor countries.”

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Repairing Broken Men: Engaging Youth in Education in Emergencies

by Kylie Barker, 

Education in emergencies more often than not is focused on building safe places, structure, and strong programs for children working through trauma and grief and without any other options due to overloaded government systems and limited educational resources.

What is lacking, however, is effective programming for teenagers in emergencies. We hear a lot about child-friendly spaces, and see activities taking place for those ages six to twelve, but once they hit their teenage years, the number of programs available drop drastically.

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Rukmini High School Graduates Look To the Future

by Rukmini Foundation, 

In Nepal, the School Leaving Examinations, or SLCs as they are known are a series of tests taken by students completing the 10th grade. Every student that is seeking to become a graduate looks forward to the SLCs with a sense of dread and anxiety. For many this is quite possibly the toughest examination of their life. The mixed emotions of anxiety, hope, and fear is insurmountable – as people believe that the results of this exam can make or break you. It is also known as the "iron gates" of education (and life) not only because it is difficult to pass, but also depending on how well you do can determine how far you go. Parents usually put pressure on their kids to not only pass, but to do better than your cousins, or your friends, or your neighbor’s children.

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Fund education to achieve accessible literacy for all

by Katherine Stephans, 

Can you remember your first day of kindergarten? Or even preschool? Chances are, you were excited beyond words. 

Chances are, your first classroom greeted you with colorful drawings on the walls, 27 letters on the chalkboard, and even a cozy reading corner filled with stacks of books, waiting patiently to take you on an adventure. 

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Education is a lifesaving humanitarian response

by Mark Engman, 

Education is a human right.  More than that, it is a lifesaving humanitarian response.  School provides stability, structure and routine that children need to cope with loss, fear, stress and violence.  Being in school can keep children safe and protected from risks, including gender-based violence, recruitment into armed groups, child labor, and early marriage.  In periods of crisis, parents and children identify education as one of their highest priority needs.

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Chopsticks or Forks: Contextualizing Developmentally Appropriate Practice in a Global Age

by Stephanie Olmore, 

During a recent trip to spend time with early childhood professionals in China, I worked to master the skill of eating with chopsticks, and I was amazed by how much I had to learn. While I was no stranger to chopsticks—in fact I’m quite proud of my ability to use them when eating sweet and sour chicken in DC—it struck me how, in China, my use of chopsticks took place in an environment in which I worked to finesse this skill at an entirely new level. I learned to grasp the food more precisely as it circled by on the customary rotating round table that supports communal sharing of a meal. This was not just about my practicing the skill, but also about the influence of the place and the culture in which I was immersed—an illustration of the importance of context in learning. 

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Education for All through the Eyes of a 10th Grade Activist

by Ananya B, 

School Girls Unite (SGU) is a non-profit organization that raises money to help send girls in Mali to school and advocates for equal education opportunities for all girls. It was founded in 2004 by group of seventh graders who continue to be extremely involved. SGU works with their sister organization in Mali, Les Filles Unies pour l’Education to connect with the students in Mali and receive information about the progress of our 11-year-old Mali Girls Scholarship program. Two current members in our school chapter of School Girls Unite, Ilhan Alyanak and Sophie Cobb, skype with Fatoumata Coulibaly, the president of Les Filles Unies, to unite us with the girls who receive our scholarships and learn about how they are doing in school.

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Wildfire! SDG 4 Red Alert –Rich Profits on Public Education in Liberia

by Jill Christianson, 

There is a wildfire beginning to rage in public education in Liberia.  Without immediate firefighting from many directions, this wildfire could spread elsewhere fast.  Unlike other fires that can be dampened and extinguished quickly, a wildfire  “differs from other fires by its extensive size, the speed at which it can spread out from its original source, its potential to change direction unexpectedly, and its ability to jump” borders.

The first to spot this explosive fire was the National Teachers’ Association of Liberia; it sounded the alarms.   The government of the Republic of Liberia, with leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Minster of Education George Kronnisanyon Werner, has developed the “Partnership Schools for Liberia,” plan for private, for-profit providers to manage all primary schools in the nation by 2020.  

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