Educating Everyone

The odds are weighed heavily against achieving the target set by the Millennium Development Goals of ensuring by December 2015 that every school-age child is actually in school. With children in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria in the firing line in recent months, the scale of the challenge could not be more apparent.

EDINBURGH – The odds are weighed heavily against achieving the target set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of ensuring by December 2015 that every school-age child is actually in school. With children in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria literally in the firing line in recent months, the immense scale of the challenge could not be more apparent. After all, fulfilling the promise of universal education demands that even those in the most difficult circumstances, such as child refugees and children in combat zones, can safely acquire a basic education.

Academic research suggests that no country can enjoy sustained prosperity – and none can avoid the middle-income trap – without large-scale investment in high-quality education. This is particularly true for today’s knowledge-based economy, in which companies value themselves according to their human, not just physical, assets, and stock exchanges assess intellectual, in addition to physical, capital.

Education has long been viewed as the number one guarantor of income, wealth, status, and security. Yet millions of people have consistently been left out or left behind, with nearly half of the world’s children still lacking access to basic education.

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