November 25, 2014
Education for All!
Education is a fundamental human right for everyone.
I don’t think there are many who would disagree with this statement, and yet according to UNICEF, 58 million children of primary school age worldwide are not in school. Globally, 781 million adults and 126 million youths (aged 15 to 24) worldwide lack basic reading and writing skills, and more than 60 per cent of them are women.
Yes, there has been some progress. In the past 13 years around 60 million more children now have access to an education. A great achievement, right? However what if I told you that less than one per cent of what the world spent EVERY YEAR on weapons, was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000… and yet it didn’t happen. We have failed to provide the fundamental human right that children deserve and the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) says in some areas it could take 70 years before there are enough primary school places for every child.
A lack of equal access to technology puts entire communities and populations of students at a disadvantage, especially minorities. It is common knowledge that technology has profoundly transformed our lives. Yet one of the most important aspects —education—has yet to fully embrace technology’s transformational benefits.
America has teamed up with leading computing companies such as Apple, Adobe and Microsoft to invest $2 billion over the next two years to dramatically expand high-speed internet connectivity for America’s schools and libraries — connecting 20 million more students to next-generation broadband and wireless.
“At Apple, we see the results of inequality every day. Minorities are significantly underrepresented in the technology industry. We want to do our part to change this. We want to open the vast potential of all the world’s future inventors, future dreamers, and future leaders.” – Apple Inc
While what Apple and other computing companies are doing is definitely a step in the right direction, it is only a small contribution compared to the global change we need to make. My hope is that other countries will follow the lead of the United States and education will be accessible for everyone… everywhere.