SEATTLE — There are many indirect obstacles to education access. For example, in areas of conflict, education can be denied to children because it is simply too dangerous. But a lot of barriers to education, whether the country is in an area of conflict of not, have simple enough solutions to gain education access. Here are some solutions to education barriers that children in developing countries face.
One barrier that stops education is the school systems themselves. In some cases there are no trained teachers in a community, so the people teaching students can only teach what they know. But sometimes a lack of teachers is a secondary problem to some communities who don’t even have a school building or supplies.
Thus, the solutions to gain education access are clear: build schools, provide supplies and train teachers. Hundreds of organizations dedicate themselves to improving education and plenty of them build schools in developing countries. One such organization is buildOn, which creates learning programs in poor communities in the U.S. and builds schools in developing communities globally. The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), another organization that supports education, supports and mobilizes others to participate in teacher-training programs.
Another set of barriers to education in developing countries is the exclusion of certain students. For some countries, exclusion affects children with disabilities. Solutions to gain education access in these circumstances mostly have to do with supporting programs that include every student. GPE is working to provide disabled students with opportunities to get an education by partnering with countries and creating policies inclusive of all children. GPE has a goal that 80 percent of its partner countries will have such policies in place by 2018.
For other children, the distance from their home to the nearest school is too far for them to walk. For communities that don’t have a school, GPE is building more schools close to towns and villages. This ensures that students won’t have to travel so far to go to school.
In some countries, girls are denied access to education because of cultural beliefs or household function. The U.S. government initiative Let Girls Learn, launched by the Obama administration in 2015, combines many departments including the Peace Corps and the State Department. The mission of the program is to expand educational opportunities to girls. The program focuses on community-led solutions and teaching girls they can be contributing members of their communities.
Education is an important step for a community becoming sustainable. But these complex barriers to education in some developing countries still need addressing. But there are solutions to gain access to education in these countries. With organizations working to improve education through progressive programs, these issues could become obsolete in the near future.
– Deanna Wetmore