SEATTLE, Washington — Children who live in developing countries may experience a severely lacking and/or flawed education system. Many may become inadequately educated due to lack of access to schools, inability to afford tuition for the existing schools or obligations they have to their families. Such obligations can include marrying young to provide the family with money or prioritizing household responsibilities over education. The challenges these children and families face are significant. However, the efforts made in some of these developing countries have improved education and are valuable to the respective countries’ future poverty reduction.
10 Ways Developing Countries Have Improved Education
Central Rules to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act: Started in 2009, this act helped shape academic goals required of students including math, science, language, environmental studies and social science.
Cultural Festivals and Education Channels: A festival known as “Rangostav” is held to provide a safe and welcoming environment that allows students and teachers to express their individuality through arts in celebration of cultural diversity. Additionally, television channels in India provide children with over 30 national channels centered around education. These channels include educational content for teachers as well.
New Education Policy for COVID-19: Launched July 29th, 2020, this policy outlines how education will be provided to children during the pandemic. It also establishes what they are working to improve in the future. As a new requirement, children must participate in an internship that provides them with the knowledge and skill of at least one vocation. For example, kids can participate in gardening or pottery internships, which India will offer online during this time. This scheduled learning time will be referred to as “Bag-less day.” Coding will be another addition to the curriculum as a requirement from ages six and onward.
The World Bank acknowledges that India has significantly improved education. These improvements have significantly increased enrollment in schools, a large percentage of which consists of girls. India has also added resources and assistance to aid disabled and disadvantaged children, many of whom are first-generation students.
Teacher Development: The lack of opportunity for women to extend their education in South Sudan is a large roadblock. Therefore, USAID funded teacher training to enhance their knowledge as teachers. Many female teachers have taken immediate advantage in the hope this would benefit their students.
Childcare: Women in developing countries who teach must often educate many children in addition to caring for their own. To allow women to focus on their students, USAID provides childcare for women. Therefore, female teachers are able to give their full attention to their pupils, knowing their children are receiving the attention they need.
The Education for All Project has provided more than 430,000 children with solutions. With the intent to raise the enrollment rate, the World Bank has provided waivers that allow children who cannot afford tuition to attend school free of charge. Students are also fed nutritional meals and 430 schools have been provided funding for deworming.
Improving access to education. Natural disasters that have hit Haiti like the 2010 Earthquake and Hurricane Mathew in 2016 have increased poverty rates. This makes education even more inaccessible, especially in rural areas. Haiti’s primary schools are private institutions and most families cannot even afford the schools with cheaper tuition. In order to continue helping children, the Education for All Project and the World Bank have developed plans to make schools safer, more effective and more easily accessible to Haiti’s most rural areas.
Across the developing world
“School for Life”: This is a new approach to education that Columbia is developing. It focuses less on academic standards and more on the students’ ability to solve real-world problems using critical thinking skills. This approach will hopefully have a positive impact on students’ social skills, creativity and entrepreneurial skills.
Barefoot College: This organization focuses on global education, providing countries with training centers in Burkina Faso, Liberia, Senegal, Madagascar and Zanzibar. Children who have to help with household responsibilities during the day can still receive the education they deserve. Barefoot College calls these institutions Solar Bridge Schools. Children between the ages of 6 and 14 can attend school at night using solar lanterns. Also, during COVID-19, this organization is working to provide multiple solutions for children depending on their access to networks and smartphones. For those without any access, they provide workbooks that they can work on at home.
Developing countries have improved education in a variety of ways. These countries and organizations are a reminder of the effort being made to make education accessible to all children.
– Zoe Schlagel