Youth and Education
Education is regarded as one of the most important factors contributing to the development and improvement of young people's lives around the world. A quality education can help reduce an individual’s risk of being negatively affected by poverty and hunger as well as promote inclusive and equitable economic growth and sustainable development to better their society as a whole. As such, the United Nations (UN) Global Initiative for Education reflects a need to increase efforts towards improving education accessibility, quality, and affordability globally.
Each additional year of learning can boost a society’s GDP growth by 25% and individuals’ earnings by 10% thus helping to eradicate poverty and hunger. As such, UNESCO’s Incheon Declaration clearly highlights the need for governments to increase their spending on education and provide youth with a minimum of 12 years of free education. However, challenges such as the current financial gap, a lack of teachers, and poor infrastructure are hindering efforts in some countries to improve education accessibility and quality. Conflict zones are especially at risk as violence restricts young people's access to education and endangers their future potential. For this reason, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law emphasizes the right for youth to have access to education during times of insecurity and armed conflict as dictated by international humanitarian law.
To maximize the efficiency of such efforts, the international education agenda highlights a number of important policy focus areas: quality training and support for teachers; assess and appropriately adapt existing education policies and practices; create a sustainable education curriculum; transform classrooms into places of collaboration; and take advantage of information technology to further develop the education process. Domestic investment and international funding are especially advantageous in the development of these policy areas.
In achieving these overall youth policy goals, education improvement efforts worldwide should take specific regional needs and challenges into account when devising appropriate and sustainable solutions. This requires the cooperation and collaboration of countries, leaders, and organizations to be successful in providing quality education to all young people.
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Explore the original documents by clicking on the links below:
-UN YOUTH. Youth and Education. Available at: <http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/documents/youth/fact-sheets/youth-education.pdf> Accessed: 11th of August 2015.
-Global Education First Initiative. Infographics. Available at: <http://www.globaleducationfirst.org/infographics.html> Accessed: 13th of September 2015.
- Voices of Youth. Education for Girls and Boys. Available at: <http://www.voicesofyouth.org/en/posts/education-for-girls-and-boys-alike> Accessed: 13th of September 2015.
-UNESCO. World Education Forum 2015-Incheon Declaration. Available at: <https://en.unesco.org/world-education-forum-2015/incheon-declaration> Accessed: 25th of September 2015.