What makes education an important global issue?
Think about the ways that education connects to other important global issues. For each issue listed below, give an example of how education might help alleviate related problems.
- Poverty and hunger
- Gender equality and women’s empowerment
- Child mortality
- Maternal health
- HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
- Environmental sustainability
Navigate through the presentation Education Counts.
- What did you find most compelling? List three concepts that interested you.
Who has access to schooling?
In the United States, state laws typically require students to be in school until about age 16. This means that nearly 100% of U.S. children complete their primary education (through about 6th grade).
In some parts of the world, completion rates of primary school are much lower. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal for education is to ensure that all children in the world are able to complete a full course of primary schooling.
- What trends do you notice?
- What improvements do you see over time? What are the existing problems?
Beyond school enrollment – Learning for All
The World Bank states:
The overarching goal is not just schooling, but learning. Getting millions more children into school has been a great achievement… The driver of development will, however, ultimately be what individuals learn…
…Growth, development, and poverty reduction depend on the knowledge and skills that people acquire, not the number of years that they sit in a classroom.
Learning levels that have been measured in many developing countries are alarmingly low, especially among disadvantaged populations. ... In some countries, recent studies show that a quarter to a half of youth who have graduated from primary school cannot read a single sentence.
(source: Learning for All)
- What trends do you notice? Do you think similar trends exist in the United States?
- Compare poverty rates by state and literacy rates by state. Describe what you noticed about literacy in states where the poverty rate is above average and below average. Then read the facts about poverty and education in America.
- How do you think poverty influences a person’s education? How do you think education influences poverty?
How can we expand opportunities for quality education and learning for all?
View the examples of how Peace Corps Volunteers are working to foster learning in communities around the world.
- If you could support education overseas like Peace Corps Volunteers do, where would you go and what would you do?
- Describe an example of a person or organization that is working to improve education and foster learning in your own community.
Reflect on the research you’ve done so far and write an essay address the following themes:
- Why is access to quality education valuable for individuals, communities, and the world?
- On a local and global scale, what does learning for all mean and how can it be achieved?
You can refer to the information and websites you’ve visited in this WebQuest, or other outside resources to support your writing. Be sure to articulate your own opinions and use evidence to support your points.