EAA Calls for Urgent Action to Address Persistent Out-of-School Children Crisis

The summit suggests the easing the debt burden of countries with significant numbers of OOSC to address the children education crisis including conflict spots.

EAA calls for urgent action to children education crisis
International Humanitarian Law needs to be adopted in the children education. Image: UNICEF

Doha, Qatar:

At the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation’s Educate A Child (EAC) and Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) programmes have published a joint paper calling for urgent action to address the persistent out-of-school children (OOSC) crisis and attacks on education.

The paper highlights that despite significant investments and advocacy, the number of OOSC has increased over the past decade, from 61 million in 2012 to 69.9 million in 2023. Additionally, attacks on education remain at an unacceptably high level, with over 3,000 reported incidents in 2022 alone.

The report identifies several factors contributing to these challenges, including:

An increase in the number and duration of conflicts. 

Improved data collection and tracking mechanisms. 

The worsening effects of climate change. 

A widening global wealth gap. 

Chronic underfunding of education. 

To address these challenges, the EAA and its programmes are calling for a range of solutions, including:

Easing the debt burden of countries with significant numbers of OOSC. 

Investing in unfettered access to education for every child. 

Innovating away from conventional thinking. 

Abiding by international humanitarian law. 

Developing national plans to address attacks on education. 

Improving data collection techniques and analytical processes. 

Ensuring that digital education initiatives do not exacerbate existing inequalities. 

“We are now at a critical inflection point and must keep a laser-like focus to ensure the overarching goal of SDG4, which EAA embraces, is achieved,” said Dr Mary Joy Pigozzi, Executive Director of Educate A Child and co-author of the paper.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Existing approaches are not sufficient, and we must look to innovative means, be it new financing mechanisms, or greater flexibility in our approaches, to ensure no child is left behind,” she added.

Dr Maleiha Malik, Executive Director, Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict, and co-author of the paper, said: “The lesson of the last 10 years is that war and conflict destroy far quicker than our ability to rebuild. If we want the needle to move so that we stop attacks on education, we must do more than simply respond to war and conflict, we must prevent it in the first instance. And when war has already started, we must speak out in one voice and insist that education must never be a target.”

The EAA and its programmes are committed to working with partners around the world to address the OOSC crisis and attacks on education. They believe that by working together, we can create a world where every child has the opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of their circumstances.

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