Working toward a quality education for all.

Ending Child Slavery…All Together Now!

by Jill Christianson, 

On a sunny day late in September, I tagged along on a lobbying visit to the Brazilian Embassy in Washington – led by Kailash Satyarthi, with colleagues from the Child Labor Coalition and the International Labor Rights Forum.  Following this fall’s swirl of activities at the UN General Assembly and a myriad of meetings about the Beyond-2015 plans (Sustainable Development Goals) including education, Kailash is focused on one thing…ENDING CHILD SLAVERY.

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Investing in People, Not Projects

by Bradley Broder, 

A villager from rural Kenya once said to me that his community needs a rainwater catchment system that would feed water tanks to each house in his village.  When I pressed him as to why he feels this is so vital given that there is a clean water source less than a kilometer away, his response was unequivocal: “because the volunteer before you helped the village down the road to get water tanks.  We want them to!”

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Business, as Usual, Distorts Education

by Steve Klees, 

Capitalism became a global force centuries ago.  But for most of its history, there was a struggle through which the inequalities and excesses that came along with it were tempered, at least partially, by government interventions.  That led, in many countries, to about 50 years of the welfare state, from the 1930s to the 1970s, in which government was seen as playing a major and legitimate role in reigning in capitalism.  All that changed in the 1980s with the election of Thatcher in the U.K., Reagan in the U.S., and Kohl in Germany.  Since then, neoliberalism has dominated, within which government is maligned and seen as illegitimate, and business and the market reign supreme.  This has had enormous and harmful consequences for public policy, in general, and for education, in particular.  Business, embedded in a market system, has been the driving force for education throughout the past 30+ years of the neoliberal era around the world.   The global emphasis on business and the market system has distorted education in myriad ways, including:

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Dream Big for Girls

When I was a child, what I dreamed of being when I grew up often changed with the wind. I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be a lawyer, an actress and for some brief period, I wanted to be a politician. Now that I am older and none of those things, I still realize the common denominator of all those dreams—what would have made any of them possible—is access to a quality education.

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Eradicating Poverty One Village at a Time

by Connie Viveros, 

Most of us know that half of the world—that's three billion people—lives on less than $2 US a day.  And about 57 million children around the world between the ages of six and 11 are denied the chance to go to school, many of them because they have to work to help support their families. We also understand that education is more than reading, writing and arithmetic.

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Standing for a Safe World Where Women and Girls Achieve Anything Without Fear

by Lindsay Morris, 

Imagine this.  A young girl sits in a dusty Cairo police station with her mother and two officers.  She is hesitant as she gathers the courage to tell her story but, as she begins, she paints herself as a superhero; rather than a victim of kidnapping and sexual assault, she becomes a powerful figure who defeats her hateful nemesis.  Though she can neither read nor write, Yasmin wields her voice and holds the officers’ rapt attention as she tells her harrowing story throughout the afternoon.  

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Civil Society Engagement and Education Diplomacy

by Yvette Murphy, 

“People are at the center of sustainable development …[and efforts] to strive for a world that is just, equitable and inclusive, and committed to work[ing] together.…” These words from the Introduction to the Proposal of the Open Working Group (OWG) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize that people are central to the implementation and success of a post-2015 development agenda, and they are the ultimate beneficiaries of “inclusive economic growth, social development, and environmental protection…without distinction.”

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#firstdays4all

As millions of students return and have returned to school over these past few weeks and months, 127 million did not. 127 million children of primary and lower secondary school age were not greeted at the door by their new teacher, did not greet old friends and meet new ones, did not crowd in to the school yard, did not spend the morning finding their shiny new desks, learning new rules and finding their way as they transition from primary to secondary school.

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Early Childhood Education in Rural Nepal

by Lisa Lyons, 

In Nepal, despite the adoption of policies designed to promote universal access to education, ECE programs exist in some places but not others. Rural public schools in particular often do not have ECE programs. Therefore, many students enter Grade 1 unprepared to succeed, and their teachers are insufficiently trained to help them thrive. The results are predictable and unfortunate.

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The importance of details, and well-rooted ones, at that

by Jinny St. Goar, 

Our small organization is focused largely on one locality in southwestern Mali in the villages of Djangoula that are found within the commune of Benkadi Founiya just south of the regional administrative center, Kita. Roughly five kilometers from the dirt road that ends in the county seat of Founiya, these villages were simply too remote for their youngest children to benefit from the early years of education.

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