Providing free and quality education to children reflects the fact that every child is entitled to fundamental human rights and is to be treated with dignity. Where children are exposed to poverty, violence, abuse, or exploitation, those rights demand our urgent protection. Primary education supports children at a critical time in their physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth. More broadly, education is a key tool for development, and an invaluable means of addressing structural inequality and disadvantage. Primary education provides children with life skills that will enable them to prosper later in life. It equips children with the skills to maintain a healthy and productive existence, to grow into resourceful and socially active adults, and to make cultural and political contributions to their communities.
Education also transmits more abstract qualities such as critical thinking skills, healthy living, resilience, and self-confidence. An educated adult population is vital for strong economic development. It also lays the foundations for greater overall economic productivity, and the full use of new technologies for development. A system of compulsory schooling helps fight child labour. Educated and literate adults are more likely to be informed about sexual risks and better able to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. A lack of gender parity and equality in education is often a critical factor in underdevelopment.
The education of women is a powerful means of sustaining improved health and education in the long term. Figures suggest that children of educated mothers are significantly more likely to be enrolled in school. The education of women also reduces fertility rates and improves the health of women, infants and children. In addition, the education of women may also address entrenched cultural views about traditional female roles as they are empowered and equipped with skills which enable them to make a full contribution to their communities. You can make a difference by entering a partnership, donating or volunteering.