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Education for All

Around the world, 57 million primary school aged children are still not in school. And many more children who are in school are failing to acquire even basic reading, writing and numeracy skills. The world has made astounding progress since 1999, when 108 million primary school aged children were out of school. However, progress has stagnated in the last several years.

Unless more effective policies are implemented and there is greater international financial support, more children may be out of school in 2015 than in 2008. Millions more will receive a low-quality education and not be able to read, write, and counts. A renewed commitment is needed to not only get children into school, but ensure they are learning once they reach the classroom.

       

               RESULTS/Allison Grossman

Because of the progress we have made, the most marginalized and hardest to reach children are often the ones that have been left behind. Of the 57 million children not in primary school, an estimated one-third of these children live with a disability, and approximately 40 percent live in conflict-affected and fragile states. Over half of out of school children live in sub-Saharan Africa — 30 million.

Moving forward, it is vital that the global community focuses on: improving access for the most vulnerable children, particularly those in conflict affected states, children with disabilities, girls, and other marginalized populations; and improving the quality of education through increasing teacher effectiveness and resources for education so children in school gain the skills needed to become productive, contributing members of society.

RESULTS is working to address these global challenges by advocating for increased U.S. support for the Global Partnership for Education, the only multilateral initiative focused on ensuring all children have access to a quality basic education, and improved United States government policies through the passage of the Education for All Act.

Since 2002, RESULTS has supported the Education for All campaign out of the belief that education is critical to eliminating poverty, empowering active and healthy citizens, and building sustainable solutions to the greatest development challenges of our day: HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation, economic deprivation, inequity, violence.

Right to Education Index

Progress towards achieving universal primary education is stagnating, aid to education is declining, too few advocates are providing oversight to governments and multilateral institutions driving educational reform, and many advocates fail to fortify their advocacy with a rights-based approach invoking the standards and obligations established by the international right to education legal framework.

It is in this context that RESULTS Educational Fund and its partners are establishing the Right to Education Index (RTEI). RTEI is a global index designed to catalyze reform across select indicators of the right to education, leading to, in years ahead, a multi-country advocacy campaign that will drive accountability and progress towards realizing the right to education. The project will facilitate ongoing research, analysis, and advocacy in partnership with civil society in the North and South alike and unite education advocacy campaigns with a concentrated focus.

In partnership with in-country civil society coalitions and organizations, the project will develop and administer a questionnaire to biennially track progress on key national-level right to education indicators in the areas of governance and the 4 As (availability, accessibility, acceptability, and adaptability), covering issues such as:

  • Is the right to education guaranteed by the constitution?
  • Is there a policy for free education? Have school fees been abolished?
  • What proportion of the national budget is allocated to education?
  • To what age does basic education apply?
  • Is corporal punishment illegal?
  • Does domestic policy prevent the expulsion of pregnant students / allow re-entry of young mothers?
  • Are there progressive policies to ensure inclusive schools for children with disabilities?
  • What is level of implementation of such policies?

RTEI is designed to be not just a research project but a means for facilitating greater joint advocacy campaigns across partners, particularly in the global South. In years ahead, the project will see RESULTS partnering with a subset of civil society organizations and national education coalitions to support the development and implementation of country-level advocacy strategies, provide ongoing training and learning exchange opportunities, and link education advocacy campaigns in the North and South.

In 2015, RESULTS and its partners will develop the core RTEI tools and conduct a five-country pilot.