Education is a fundamental right. However, millions of children worldwide are deprived of this right. It is impossible to pinpoint the exact factor hindering the deliverance of quality education to all children alike. A good understanding of the complex channel of elements that act as a barrier in education can give insight. It can help decipher why most kids miss out on education and practical learning. A detailed analysis of the key factors that block access to students willing to attain education will help address the obstacles.
Children are entitled to a right to education and quality education with systems that enable proper learning. This inviolable right was acknowledged by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in1948. The UDHR proclaims; every child has the right to education, and that right should be free. Unfortunately, due to multiple barriers, this right takes a backseat amidst the unprosperous circumstances around the world. The lack of essential resources and the hurdles to earn education exists the most in developing and underdeveloped countries.
Let us discuss the most prevalent causes that block children’s access to education and productive learning in educational institutions.
1 – Inefficient Infrastructure
Imagine studying in a school where one does not have proper sanitary solutions. In most schools, especially in underdeveloped and poor regions, restrooms are non-existent, let alone separate toilets for boys and girls. It results in increased absentees daily. Additionally, improper infrastructure like the unavailability of restrooms within educational buildings often results in severe consequences. For one, children become more prone to developing certain diseases such as cholera, stomach bugs, and harmful (even fatal) bacteria and viruses. During the menstrual periods amongst girls, poor hygiene maintenance also results in severe health complications, forcing them to skip school. Many education policymakers are working diligently to provide schools with the necessities.
Furthermore, a masters in applied behavior analysis online trains educators and policymakers to understand students’ behavioral complications due to such challenges. With the right training, they can nurture the kids tactfully. They also counsel their guardians to take care of the students more considerately during their distressing days.
2 – Market Days
In states and communities where markets rely on harvests, the harvesting season impacts everything, from personal lives to education. The crops sold in the market are a crucial source of income for the members of such communities. Due to inadequate facilities, children are expected to skip school to help their families reap and sell the crops during these seasons. Most of the time, the harvesting period extends from days to months, causing them to miss out on their academics. Students remain out of school for months to work. Families need to keep moving around with their grazing herds to harvest the crops from various areas. All of this can keep students from receiving education at schools.
3 – Premature Marriages
Early marriages, be it between two minors or a child and an adult, are a significant disruption for children in their education. Child marriages are prevalent in underdeveloped and developing countries and often bars the married child from education. A majority of girls, regardless of their age, usually drop out of educational institutions, even in the developed countries. A significant reason is the lack of awareness regarding the importance of education amongst women and alternatives to on-campus lessons such as distant learning. According to the UN (United Nations), about one-third of the young girls in under-developed countries are under wedlock by eighteen. At the same time, every one in nine girls is married at the onset of her teenage. In most societies, a woman’s marriage is taken as a sign of the end of her formal education.
4 – Wars and Conflicts
Around one-third of the countries in the world are under the impact of wars. While wars may seem like an obvious barrier to educational and learning capabilities, their scale of impact is surprising. USAID has revealed that over half the children do not go to schools in war-torn countries in its various reports. Furthermore, UNESCO has shown that Syria’s educational progress took a complete 360-degree turn during the Civil War. The same is the case with many Middle Eastern countries, which are reaping the consequences of political instability and war crimes. If the civil wars continue, the children of conflict zones will remain deprived of quality education.
5 – Climate Change
Climate change has also started having adverse impacts on education around the world. Due to climate change, the extreme climatic patterns on the rise can cause poor communities to fall deeper into poverty and helplessness. During such situations, parents will pull their children out of school to manage their finances. With the tuition fees on the rise and other miscellaneous expenses, parents would rather have their children earn the bread than ‘waste time and money at schools.’
It is impossible to zero in on a particular element that is the crucial player in the disruption of access to quality education to students worldwide. These factors vary from time to time and region to region. For instance, the children in Iraq and Syria would not attend school out of the fear of drones. In contrast, the kids in developed countries such as America would skip school due to bullying or mental health issues. Nonetheless, educationists and policymakers must come together and address the concerns of attaining education worldwide.