School can be stressful, there’s no doubt. When I think of the word “school” it takes me back to those long nights spent memorising lengthy maths formulas, or scrambling to meet a 12 a.m. English paper deadline. And doing all this while drinking way too much coffee for my own good.
This is in fact the reality most of us know.
But let us take a moment to step out of our reality and put ourselves into the shoes of another. Let’s say Allie. Allie is from Indonesia. She is 12 years old and has two younger brothers. Allie has big dreams. She is passionate about helping others and wants to become a doctor one day. But unlike you, Allie does not go to school. She wakes up early in order to work on the streets of Jakarta to earn hopefully a few dollars a day to support her family. Her household income is merely $11 a week.
We often forget that attending school is a great privilege. We live in a society where attending school is out of the question — it is handed to us like food on the dinner table. But the reality is that there are approximately 263 million children like Allie may never be able to see their own dreams materialise. To put that into context, that is around 1 in 5 children around the world.
So why are there so many children out of school?
Out of school rates can be explained by a variety of reasons. Many children choose to drop out of school and enter the workforce prematurely in order to support their family. Meanwhile, some communities experience a severe lack of resources while others families simply cannot afford the cost of education.
At some point in our schooling lives we learn about poverty, inequality and child labour. But to us, people like Allie living halfway across the world has always been a textbook statistic. But Allie’s struggles are very real.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela
Education has empowered us to think for ourselves, to dream big and equipped us with the capacity to spark change in the world. You and I know what needs to be changed in this world and we are in a better position than anyone else to do this. Our educational privilege holds us responsible for creating a better world.
So what now?
You have a platform to create change for millions of children like Allie. Whether it be through a kind gesture like donating, taking some time out to volunteer or simply spreading awareness about this issue, it could really make all the difference.
At Solve Education!, we are committed to providing quality of education of millions of children and youth by leveraging the growing ubiquity of broadband and smartphones. We are experimenting with how to use game mechanics, incentives, and artificial intelligence to provide mass- customization of education.
We are determined to ensure the education of the youth around the world who are unable to receive an effective education by traditional means.
To support our cause please visit: https://give.asia/campaign/give_every_child_a_fair_chance_support_their_education
Or to learn more about Solve Education!‘s volunteering opportunities go to: https://solveeducation.org/internship-and-volunteering/