Schule in Madagaskar, 2020

Education

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Education for every child

One in five children of pre-school to secondary school age have no access to education. At the same time, more than half of school children cannot read or write properly by the end of primary school. Yet there are very few investments that deliver as great a return as education. That is why UNICEF is doing everything it can to alleviate this global education crisis. 




The near universalization of primary education is one of the great global achievements of the last 50 years. In the early 1950s, for example, around half of primary-age children did not attend school. Thanks to global efforts, by 2019 nearly nine out of ten children were able to attend school at primary level.  Getting children into school is one thing, however. Educating them well over the course of four years and keeping them in school is another. Poor infrastructure, insufficiently qualified teachers, a lack of school supplies and long distances to school mean that many parents prefer to keep their children at home where they can do useful work.

At the same time, more than half of the world’s schoolchildren cannot read and write properly by the end of primary school. For the first time in history, therefore, there are more non-learners in school worldwide than children who do not attend school. In this context, education is both the key to a child’s personal development and a catalyst for social mobility, equal opportunities and economic development for an entire country.

Schülerinnen in der Demokratischen Republik Kongo

To address this global education crisis, UNICEF is committed to equal access to education for all, improved learning and teaching methods and safe learning in crisis situations and other fragile contexts. In 144 countries around the world, UNICEF runs programs to give children and young people the knowledge and skills they need to develop successfully.

UNICEF has developed the Child-Friendly School model, which can be applied anywhere in the world. Education for girls, free healthcare in schools, the provision of infrastructure and school supplies, and training to produce qualified teaching staff are the program priorities in the field of education.

Education for every child

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