By Gregory Taylor
It maybe not be something that is at the top of everyone’s lists at the moment, but an issue which I feel is important and possibly overlooked is that around 57 million children around the world are currently not getting any sort of education.
This is shocking. In this country we take education for granted, yes of course we have many issues in the UK to do with primary education, but nothing compared to some of the issues in other countries. Many of the places where children are not getting education are war-torn countries such as Syria and in Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa only 23 per cent of poor girls are getting any sort of formal education and 69 million adolescents were out of lower secondary school. These figures are shocking, and it sometimes feels unacceptable that this is happening in the 21st century.
Despite these awful figures, there some charities which are raising these important issues. One of them is the charity ‘RESULTS’, of which I am a grassroots volunteer. RESULTS’ members have been taking part in something called the ‘Footsteps for Futures’ challenge. The aim of this is to help address some of the major issues on extreme poverty, for children, and to fundraise on this issue. This not something which will change the problem overnight, or even in the next year or so, but it is something that needs to be looked at with a long-term goal.
RESULTS’ aim is also to highlight that many children living the third world countries face huge problems in getting to school. The nearest school can sometimes be several miles away and would mean walking in some harsh conditions. Not only that but if the child does get to school many of the schools will be not have the right equipment or in some cases won’t have any equipment at all. The other thing to take into account is that many of the teachers in these countries are not even given the right training, which will of course impact on the quality of the students learning.
For my part, I challenged myself to walk from Chiswick to Wandsworth for five days. Doing this and from what I have read on this issue has made me much more aware of some of the issues around education in less developed areas.
Of course this sort of issue will never be front page news with all the major issues going on with Iraq and Syria, but it should never be forgotten. At a time when many people’s attention is elsewhere, REUSLTS and other international aid charities are keeping the campaign on overseas aid going.