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.

Navigate through the presentation Education Counts.

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.

View the world map showing school enrollment rates.

View the graphs showing the global number of out-of-school children, primary school completion rates, and youth literacy rates over time.

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)

View the graphic showing youth literacy rates by country compared to average per-person income.

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.

What do Volunteers Do? – Education


Reflect on the research you’ve done so far and write an essay address the following themes:

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.