It’s that time of year again when lots of children and others are heading back into the classroom. Lots of children all across the country gathered school supplies and probably new shoes (oh my, how feet grow during the summer) and stepped foot into a the room of a new teacher. Some of those little students entered with complete confidence of making new friends and commanding the attention of everyone. Others may have stood by shyly, ever so apprehensive of what was in store that first day and the ones immediately following during the week. But all were there for a purpose, which was and is to learn and be educated in the hopes of a future graduation.
Children in other countries attend school as well. Many in third world countries face great obstacles in order to receive an education that we (in the US) take for granted. Take a look at these facts:
- Worldwide, nearly 80 percent of primary-school-age children attend school. In least developed countries, this figure is around 66 percent.
- The largest out-of-school population is in sub-Saharan Africa, where around 45.5 million children of primary school age are out of school.
- Of the 67 million primary-school-age children who do not attend school, 53 percent are girls.
- Worldwide, only 49 percent of children of secondary school age actually attend secondary school.
- Of the 49 percent of secondary age students who do not attend school, 52 percent are girls.
- The world’s functional illiterates include more than 130 million children who do not attend school, 73 million of them girls.
These statistics are staggering and thought-provoking. As someone who loves school and loves to learn, I realize I am blessed by the opportunities I have been given simply to learn. As a former teacher, I am an advocate for the classroom and for teaching people to read. So many children do not have this opportunity but those of us who are blessed can help those who are much less fortunate. If you are interested in knowing more about helping children in dire circumstances, click here for information from Compassion International.
What about you? Do you have any favorite childhood school memories? What do you think about the statistics mentioned above? Love to hear your thoughts, friend!