Children believe education is important to them

Education is a key tool in combating poverty and in promoting peace, social justice, cultural diversity, environmental awareness, and sustainable development. Although major progress has been made toward increasing access to education and enrollment rates in schools, 263 million children and youth between the ages of 6 and 17 are out of school globally; 61 million of these children are of primary school age (6-11 years). Millions of children dream of going to school and learning, but face several barriers to accessing education such as conflict, school violence, natural disasters, poverty, child labor, early pregnancy. A survey from ChildFund Alliance shows that over 30% of children in developing nations have missed school to go to work, compared to just 8% of children in developed nations.

Although millions of children cannot access school, many of them would like to as they believe that education is important for them. The survey shows that almost all children (98% of the 6,226 children surveyed) believe that education is significant to them. The survey, Small Voices, Big Dreams, was conducted through one-on-one interviews with 10- to 12-year-old children in 41 nations. Regardless of their living situation or location, the children surveyed value the importance of education and believe that education can make their lives and their world a better place. About 45% of children said that education will help them get a good job, and more than one-third of them said that education will help them take care of their parents. In Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Sweden, children believe that education is important because it will help them make a difference in their country.

Because of conflict, violence, or physical or emotional abuse, millions of children never feel safe at school. On average, 3% of all children surveyed feel unsafe at school safe; in Burkina Faso, 20% said that their school is never safe. When the children were asked what it means to be safe at school, almost half of them said that being safe at school means security measures are in place and approximately one-third of them said that being safe at school means they are not at risk of physical or emotional abuse, with the highest responses from children in Bangladesh (79%), Cambodia (74%), and Zambia (65%).

While almost all the children surveyed said that education is important, research shows that children face several barriers that stand between them and their access to safe and quality education.

For more information:

ChildFund Alliance is a global network of 11 child-centered development organizations working in the poorest countries to create opportunities for disadvantaged children, youth, and their families and communities. More information about the organization can be found here.

ChildFund Alliance. (2016). Small Voices, Big Dreams 2016: A survey of more than 6,000 children around the world reveals their views on education and safety in schools.

Dziko Crews