The right to education was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as in every subsequent major international human rights agreement. Nevertheless, access to education falls far short of these goals. Around the globe, over 70 million children aren’t in school. For those that are, overcrowded classrooms, poorly trained teachers, and inadequate materials conspire against learning. Even those who finish their education often lack basic skills. And, in many places, girls face additional barriers that limit their schooling.
Educational investments benefit not just the student, but his or her family and community; as the level of education increases, so does the chance to get and keep a job, have a healthy life and support a family. Better education for girls also results in long term benefits such as higher lifetime earnings, fewer unwanted pregnancies, and lower infant mortality for their future children. It also can act as what has been called a ‘social vaccine’ – safeguarding youth against HIV and other infections, and reducing violence.
EMpower supports programs that:
- Provide fundamental skills for the globalized 21st century (computer literacy, international languages such as English).
- Close the gender gap.
- Focus on inclusive education to reach the most disadvantaged, including “second chance” education for youth who are out of school.
- Support relevant, appropriate approaches to prepare students for real life in their settings.