The lack of appropriate school infrastructure is one of the contributing factors which results in the shocking statistic that there are 264 million children around the world who do not have access to education.
The lack of suitable education facilities and learning environments is limiting the access and the quality of education which children receive, particularly in socio economically disadvantaged schools.
– In sub-Saharan Africa, only 22% of primary schools have electricity.
– Primary school access to drinking water was below 75% in 72 of 148 countries.
– Access to basic sanitation facilities was below 50% in 24 of 137 countries, including 17 in sub-Saharan Africa.
(UNESCO, Global Monitoring Report 2017/8.)
How can children dream of going to school if the school he or she has available does not provide drinking water, electricity and safety?
Fostering child-friendly school environments is one of the most important requirements for quality education.
There is also the role of the teachers in providing a positive learning environment and helping students, parents and the community recognize the school as a place that provides a learning opportunity for life. A good example of this is a model that has been implemented for the past 15 years, mostly by UNICEF, in countries such as Nicaragua, Thailand and Uganda. This model emphasizes the importance of providing a healthy, safe, inclusive, protective environment for all children who attend the school. Unfortunately, this model has also encountered challenges such as the lack of basic infrastructures. “In the Philippines, only 32% of schools are without broken windows or peeling paint.” (EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015)
The issue of poor school infrastructure seems miles away from our grasp and our responsibility, because of the direct relation it has with the countries´economic policies and private investments. But our schools can help too! Our students should have the opportunity to analyze and reflect over this issue, so that they can act with ideas of improvement within their own communities.
How can we do this? To begin with, we invite you to implement the Global Red Chair project in your classroom or even in your entire school, focusing not only on the millions of children who don’t have access to education but also on the unsuitable education facilities and learning environments that are part of this worldwide problem.
The Red Chair Project will now go beyond its implementation, towards a deeper understanding of the reasons why this human right is not being fulfilled.
Together we can generate a long-lasting positive impact for the benefit of all the children of the world!
Get involved and get your students involved too!
If you have more ideas that you would like to share, please share them with the community in the Global Red Chair Conversation.