global educationTwo of the biggest myths about global poverty are that countries are doomed to stay poor no matter how much aid they receive and that global poverty is too big to fix. There is progress in the fight to end global poverty every day. Several of the largest importers of American goods and services, including countries such as South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, have graduated from U.S. foreign aid programs to economic independence, and global poverty has been cut in half since 1990.

Foreign aid helps contribute to the downsizing of global poverty, but there are other ways to help as well. If total global education were achieved, it would have a significant impact on the reduction of poverty.

Here are six ways global education can reduce global poverty.

  1. Education can reduce economic inequalities. If everyone had the same amount of education, disparity in working poverty would shrink by 39 percent.
  2. Education promotes economic growth. According to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), “In 2050, GDP per capita in low-income countries would be almost 70 percent higher if all children were learning.”
  3. Education can increase earnings. According to UNESCO, one extra year of schooling increases an individual’s earnings by up to 10 percent. According to the GPE, for each additional dollar invested in an extra year of schooling, earnings increase by $5 in low-income countries and $2.5 in lower-middle-income countries.
  4. Education can lead to gender equality. Women have been proven to reap higher returns from schooling, and some countries that fail to educate their girls properly lose out on an estimated $92 billion in economic growth.
  5. Education can lead to access to clean water. In rural areas, girls spend 15 hours a day collecting water for their families. If everyone, girls included, were educated properly about their health and water sanitation, local water sanitation would increase. This could potentially lead to a decline in the amount of time needed to fetch water.
  6. Education can lead to peace and justice. The world’s most dangerous countries are also the poorest. Educated people tend to participate in the democratic process and exercise their civil rights, according to UNESCO. They also tend to be more tolerant of people different than they are.

It would take only $16 billion a year in aid to send all children to school in low-income countries, according to UNESCO. For comparison, the U.S alone spends $601 billion on its military. Global education is attainable, and it can change and save lives.

Dezanii Lewis

Photo: Flickr

United States' Role in Global EducationIn late July 2017, a resolution was introduced to the House of Representatives supporting the United States’ role in global education. The resolution aims to ensure the U.S.’s assistance in the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which grants children access to quality education in the world’s most impoverished countries.

In April 2017, the GPE called for a 3-year plan to support a large number of developing countries in their effort to improve the quality of education and provide proper access for approximately 870 million children.

The resolution, which was referred to the Committee of Foreign Affairs, was introduced by Republican representative David Reichert of Washington. It voices the ongoing concerns about disenfranchised children in other parts of the world who have limited or no access to quality education.

It was resolved that the House of Representatives considers it the United States’ role and duty to improve access to quality education to marginalized children worldwide. Additionally, it was resolved that the House encourages commitment and investments by the U.S. government, international donors, private foundations and private sector donors through the GPE to fund the ongoing global effort to promote education for children and youth worldwide.

The resolution addresses the issues of lack of basic literacy and numerical skills in approximately 250 million children worldwide. It also outlined the benefits of improving the quality of education. It stated, for example, that, “access to quality education reduces poverty, advances economic prosperity, improves peace and security and strengthens public health.” The investment in global education could positively affect these situations.

The incentives to invest in global education via the GPE were made clear as well. The World Bank has found that every year of school decreases the chance of male youth in violence by around 20 percent. The Global Education Monitoring Report found that the majority of the world’s children who do not attend school live in areas wrought with violence and conflict. Education also impacts health: the Global Education Monitoring Report found that an educated mother is more likely to have her children vaccinated. The report also found that girls who attend school are less likely to be infected with HIV.

In 2014, support for the Global Partnership for Education led to approximately 64 million more children attending primary school than 2002, as well a 10 percent increase in primary school completion over the same period.

To ensure the access of education to children worldwide and increase the United States’ role in global education, you can ask your representative to cosponsor House Resolution 466.

Melanie Snyder

Photo: Flickr

Supporting Global EducationThe global youth unemployment rate is a concern, especially for global business leaders and nonprofits that advocate for lowering the poverty rate. As of 2016, there were 71 million unemployed people between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the International Labor Union (ILU). There are many ways to fix this problem, but one way to help unemployed youth in developing countries is by supporting global education.

This is a problem that affects all the countries of the world, but is especially hard on youths in developing countries. The increased number of unemployed youths in developing regions such as the Caribbean, Latin America and Western Asia had a great impact on the overall increase of the global youth unemployment rate, while numbers of youth unemployment rate in developed countries stayed about the same. Additionally, many jobs that youths can get in developing countries are low-paying jobs. The ILU estimates that 38 percent of working youths are living in extreme poverty (less than $3.10 a day).

Supporting global education is an investment in the youths of developing countries. With an education, the younger generation can learn the skills they needed to get higher paying jobs. A report conducted by the International Commission for Financing Global Education Opportunities found that 40 percent of employers worldwide had difficulty finding people with the required skills for their job openings. By investing in global education, more people can enter the workforce with in-demand skills and find more opportunities. In the long run, this enables the economy to grow and helps the country develop.

One organization supporting global education is Global Partnership for Education (GPE). GPE focuses on developing countries and brings together teacher organizations, private foundations and international organizations in order to strengthen educational systems. GPE’s goal is to make inclusive education accessible to everyone by the year 2030.

GPE is just one organization that is focusing on education to lower the unemployment rate of youths. If students in developing countries can access and gain the skills they need for jobs, the poverty rate for those developing countries will improve.

Deanna Wetmore

Photo: Flickr

Global EducationAustralian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has been very vocal about her devotion to global education. With 264 million youth out of school across the globe, Bishop has recognized the importance of supporting this cause.

Australia, a new member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, has been setting an example for other countries to assist in raising money for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) fund.

Australia’s role in supporting global education is vital. The GPE is in need of $3.1 billion, which will only be attainable if major G20 countries increase their contribution by at least 30 percent. Bishop’s decision to increase Australia’s contribution is paving the way for other countries to follow suit. Thus far, Australia’s dedication to global education has had a positive influence in other countries.

Recently, Australian Vocational Education and Skills Assistant Minister Karen Andrews visited Sri Lanka, a country in close collaboration with Australia in its global education efforts. Andrews used this mission to look at higher education and research opportunities in Sri Lanka, specifically in fields of engineering, information technology, maritime services, hospitality and tourism.

Many Sri Lankans are looking to migrate to Australia, so the partnership is beneficial to both parties. Together, Australia and Sri Lanka are creating more education opportunities that are affordable, high quality and have the ability to reach more youths.

Australia’s investment in Sri Lankan education has reflected the efforts discussed by Bishop, making Australia’s words into more powerful actions.

“I will be speaking to Foreign Minister Bishop about further opportunities for Australia and Sri Lanka,” Andrews said regarding the budding relationship between the two countries.

With the efforts Australia is making, the work it has done in Sri Lanka and Bishop’s devotion to global education, Australia has the power to change the fate of the 264 million children who currently do not have the privilege of receiving an education.

Kassidy Tarala

Photo: Flickr

Importance of Global Education
There are several nonprofit organizations whose missions are to better education in developing countries so that every student has access to equal opportunities. A lot of these programs include funding for teacher associations to ensure that schools are not just well equipped with supplies, but with qualified teachers as well. The Harvard Graduate School of Education is one university whose graduates are qualified to teach any group of students around the world. Their program teaches the importance of global education and prepares students who have an interest in teaching internationally.

The program is called the International Education Policy (IEP) and its aim is to teach students a wide variety of understanding so that graduates can help multiple groups of students around the world. Students learn things from how to improve girls’ education to ways to deliver HIV/AIDS education. Students also learn to design their own innovative programs for schools and how to effectively use those programs to improve the quality of education. Other things that the students learn is how to promote peace, teach about relevant issues and empower students.

Some IEP graduates work with nonprofit organizations such as UNICEF, Save the Children and the World Bank. As education specialists within these organizations, they are policy makers for education worldwide. Some graduates also act as social entrepreneurs and create their own organizations to help with global education.

One graduate of the program, Sara Ahmed, co-founded the Elm International School in Alexandria, Egypt. Ahmed started the school with three goals that she wanted the school to meet. She wanted it to be a student centered environment, use technology as a tool and be internationally minded while still being locally rooted. Ahmed said in an interview, conducted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, “I wanted a school that I would dream of for my own children.”

Another graduate, Jeff Decelles, started a program called Ragball International, which is based in South Africa. This program takes soccer balls that are created with thrown away plastic by local youths and sells them internationally. The youths making the ragballs also participate in a program that teaches them how to save and set financial goals. The program also teaches students the importance of recycling and re-enforcing the positive impact that reusing has on the environment.

There are many more positive steps that graduates of the IEP program are making towards global education. The most important outcome of this program is that it promotes the importance of global education. With more teachers equipped with knowledge and initiative to make a difference in global education, they can help improve education for students worldwide.

Deanna Wetmore

Photo: Google

Global Education RatesThe United Nations Children’s Fund has recently put out a call for more funding after a report from the U.N. indicated that improvements on global education rates are stalling. Widespread poverty, humanitarian crises and ongoing military conflicts have been pointed to as the main causes for this significant stagnation. Although a quality education for all is one of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals signed by world leaders in 2015, the on-the-ground campaign for this goal has been considerably lacking in recent years.

Today, the UNICEF reports, around 123 million children are missing school, which represents 11.5 percent of school-age children; in 2007, this number was at 135 million, or 12.8 percent. This 1.3 percent decrease in a decade, the UNICEF indicates, is not nearly enough in order to attain education targets set for 2030. In fact, international aid for education, now standing at about $12 billion, has declined 4 percent since 2010. This is the sixth year in a row in which education has been a diminishing proportion of the overseas aid budget, further evincing that improvement on global education rates are stalling and are possibly at a risk of stopping altogether. By June 2017, UNICEF had only received 12 percent of the funding it needed to provide education for children in areas of crisis.

Although children in poorer countries are disproportionately affected, the latest U.N. report highlights that they are not necessarily the regions getting the most help. Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, accounts for around 50 percent of the global out-of-school children population, but only receives about one quarter of the budget destined for education aid. This is primarily due to more international support going to areas submerged in conflict. This has made ongoing military campaigns and war main factors in the denial of education to millions of children across the world, especially in poorer countries.

Overall, the overwhelming tendency is that improvement on global education rates are stalling. Irina Bokova, director of UNESCO, recently stated that, “Aid would need to be multiplied by at least six to achieve our common education goals and must go to countries most in need.”

In spite of this global stagnation, significant progress has been made in some areas. Ethiopia and Niger, two of the world’s poorest countries, have had respective increases of 15 and 19 percent in enrollment rates for primary school children. This was the largest recorded increase in the latest report given by the U.N.  It is evident that the international community, which signed on to the U.N Sustainable Development Goals, needs to build on the progress made in these countries to help others in need.

Alan Garcia-Ramos

Photo: Flickr

Dubai CaresIn September 2017, philanthropic organization Dubai Cares celebrated their tenth anniversary. The global nonprofit was founded by Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Its mission is to provide education to citizens from countries where educational opportunities are sparse.

Currently, Dubai Cares has facilitated educational programs in 45 countries. According to The National, this has had a positive effect on 16 million youths. The organization has also partnered with other global organizations, like UNICEF, CARE International and the World Food Programme. Along with these, Dubai Cares has joined with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other nongovernmental organizations to influence the global community’s commitment toward better educational practices.

When the charity was first formed, it focused on funding educational programs created by others. After hiring Chief Executive Al Gurg, Dubai Cares began constructing their own solutions.

Dubai Cares operates under the belief that education is a fundamental right that should be available to everyone regardless of race, gender or religion. Lack of education is one of the biggest causes of global poverty. The organization is particularly interested in promoting education for girls around the world, 62 million of whom are not in school.

Over the past 10 years, Dubai Cares has built or renovated over 2,000 classrooms and trained nearly 64,000 teachers. The organization acknowledges, however, that there are many things that affect education beyond the schools or quality of education.

One of these issues involves health-related problems, including malnutrition and disease. To combat these, Dubai Cares has invested in providing healthy food, clean water and effective hygienic practices to students. Another issue that severely affects education is military conflict within the country. One recent philanthropic mission the organization undertook involved educating children dealing with national violence in Columbia.

The continued successes of Dubai Cares have cemented it as a pinnacle in the fight for global education.

Cortney Rowe

Photo: Flickr

UN Global Education Institute
If anybody is going to lead the charge for higher education, it’s the United Nations. A new U.N. Global Education Institute has been introduced in Pohang, South Korea. The institute, named after former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will become a hub for U.N. Academic Impact (UNAI), which is focused on building up support for higher education worldwide. Through this central location, the U.N. Global Education Institute has the potential to make a lasting difference for universal learning and growth. The more the public knows about the institute and its goals, the better.

The U.N. Global Education Institute would be nothing without the program behind it. The UNAI is a global initiative, launched in 2010, that aligns institutions of higher education, scholarship and research with the United Nations. More than 1,000 institutions in more than 120 countries and around 30 academic networks are now members or endorsers. Ten basic principles hold the UNAI accountable to advancing world education, including addressing issues of poverty, conflict resolution and sustainability. Connecting education and poverty with the UNAI and U.N. Global Education Institute is an encouraging sign for the outlook of universal higher education.

Regardless of gender, race, religion or ethnicity, education is a goal crucial to the U.N.’s goals for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan that includes fighting poverty on every level. Education is a high priority in this fight, since universal access to quality education at all levels is considered an assured human right. However, poverty holds many students back from achieving this right. The spread of information and technology has especially made the differences between poverty and wealth much more apparent.

The new U.N. Global Education Institute is taking a different approach to this problem by focusing on higher education. While primary schooling is crucial for all, students’ ability to progress past the prerequisite curricula is nearly impossible for the impoverished. Whether it be the financial costs of higher education or the discrimination in the admissions process, impoverished students face many challenges.

Unveiling the new U.N. Global Education Institute is an exciting step toward realizing universal access to education. However, this news is only the beginning. Much more work is necessary, especially once the institute opens its doors and begins work and research.

Anybody can help with this important work and make a difference for global higher education. Students can encourage their own universities to become partners in the UNAI or even join the Actions by Students to Promote Innovation and Reform through Education (ASPIRE), a program that embodies the UNAI’s 10 principles within student communities worldwide. Even those not currently attending college can educate others on the U.N.’s educational endeavors in the fight against poverty. A commitment to bring prosperity to all, financial and educational alike, is one worth making.

Allie Knofczynski

Photo: Flickr

On June 19, 2017, Omnicom announced that their company is partnering with Theirworld and Girl Effect to support global education. As Omnicom is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company, the three-year global partnership is likely to yield success.

The decision was made as a pledge to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The company decided to focus its efforts towards the fourth SDG, “inclusive and quality education for all.” Toward this end, Omnicom also fulfills another SDG, which calls on corporations to partner with other organizations in an effort to alleviate global poverty and its effects.

Omnicom’s support for global education programs began with the launch of the Common Ground Initiative in 2016. The initiative pulled together six of the largest communications companies worldwide in support of SDGs. As part of the initiative, Omnicom agreed to provide funding and encourage other industries to find “Common Ground” in the effort toward global development.

The partnership between these three organizations shows Omnicom’s commitment to the initiative. Theirworld and Girl Effect are both non-government organizations whose primary focus is to provide quality education for all. Girl Effect focuses on gender inequality in education through the use of mass media and mobile technology. Along similar lines, Theirworld is a charity for children that utilizes research to better the health and education of children globally. In the announcement, Theirworld and Girl Effect expressed their excitement about the partnership because of the importance of storytelling. Both agree that Omnicom’s ability to tell a story will send a message to other large industries, giving a huge boost to global education efforts.

With the collaboration of large companies and organizations like Omnicom, the U.N.’s SDGs have a high potential to be reached by 2030. Other industries will hopefully follow suit with Omnicom in the effort to support global education and alleviate global poverty through cooperative partnerships.

Haley Hurtt

Photo: Flickr

Technology in Global Education
The fifth annual Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) 2017 held in Dubai on March 18 and 19 addressed the question of how to create ‘real’ global citizens. The forum is a Varkey Foundation initiative where leading figures from public, private and social sectors around the world convene to discuss the future of education.

A number of discussions centered around educational advancements in the digital age and how technology in global education could affect students.

In his speech on March 18, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) education and skills director, Andreas Schleicher, emphasized the need for new and creative ways to prepare future generations to become global citizens.

“The more diverse our children’s interests and experiences, the more they are encouraged to work with their peers to address problems in new ways, the better prepared they will be for the new digital age,” he explained.

Schleicher listed the most pertinent areas for growth as student inclusion, curriculum, teacher quality, school organization and accountability.

“We are very good at ranking human talent but not very good at developing it,” he said. “We need to focus on all students, all the time and move away from constantly testing to find the best. We should be developing everyone, not looking for those already doing well.”

Schleicher went on to say that while today’s digital age can be prosperous for those who know how to capitalize on it, those without the right education are more susceptible to vulnerable working situations.

Speaking at the GESF to Xinhua in an exclusive interview, Ms. Yang Boya, a former fellow at Harvard SEED for Social Innovation, headed multiple master classes at the forum.

She asserted that the spread of computer devices among children globally bears both positive and negative consequences. While promotion of technology in global education allows students to recognize technological progress, Yang emphasized the need for human interactions within the classroom.

“An IT device can never replace the human teacher, but support his work,” she declared in an interview with Xinhua.

GESF concluded with what is regarded as the Nobel Prize for teaching, the third annual Global Teacher Prize 2017. Maggie MacDonnell, an educator residing and teaching in Salluit, an Inuit village deep in the Canadian Arctic, was awarded the title and one million dollars.

Casie Wilson