As we watch our children head off for the start of another school year, we should pause and consider the state of education in the rest of the world.
While we Canadians enjoy one of the best education systems that exist, globally, 57 million children of primary school age still remain out of school.
The Global Partnership for Education is the only multilateral partnership that exists to help bring down that appalling number. Over the last decade, it has put an additional 23 million children in school, trained 413,000 teachers, constructing more than 37,000 classrooms for boys and girls.
Canada helps fund this program, and so these numbers are an example of Canadian tax dollars making a big difference.
But the numbers are still sobering: globally, 66 million girls are not offered any schooling at all, far fewer than boys. When girls get an education, they are six times less likely to be married off as children, and have 2.2 fewer children.
The Global Partnership for Education is slated for funding renewal, and it’s imperative that our Federal Government increases its contribution.
Compared to the economic return, the cost of educating children is small, and girls especially need our help to bring much needed changes to backward and illiterate communities. Education is a human right, and Canada can help make that possible.