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Getting kids into classrooms is only half the equation

World Vision
27 January 2016 by Laura Tay
Getting kids into classrooms is only half the equation

Dulamsuren at her school in Mongolia. Photo by Jon Warren, World Vision

All children deserve the chance to go to school. That’s why World Vision works around the world to make education more accessible – building schools, making it easier for children to get to school with bicycles or improved roads, even raising community awareness about why school is so important so parents are more supportive of their child’s education. In fact, the world has cause to celebrate because enrolment in primary education in developing regions has reached 91 per cent!

But getting kids into classrooms is only half of the equation. Just as every child deserves to go to school, they also deserve to receive a quality education. Without well trained teachers, learning resources and a good school environment, it can be difficult for children to get the most out of school.

Something that highlights this problem is the global learning crisis – 250 million children who are unable to read or write by the time they reach Grade Four. Despite years of study, they haven’t been able to develop the basic skills that underpin any education.

So what is World Vision doing about it? Check out five examples of how World Vision is helping kids get a quality education.

With World Vision’s Reading to learn Project, children teach other children. Photo by Achel Bayisenge, World Vision

With World Vision’s Reading to learn Project, children teach other children. Photo by Achel Bayisenge, World Vision

Programs for Literacy

In communities where literacy rates are low, World Vision runs a special program called ‘Literacy Boost’ that aims to equip students with the basic skills they need to catch up. Special reading camps and after-school literacy classes are spaces where children can learn from teachers and each other, and World Vision works with parents to provide support at home. World Vision also supports All Children Reading, a global grant competition which supports innovative solutions to improving literacy.

Teacher Ms. Rous is using TRAC learning resources provided by World Vision to teach her students. Photo by Vanndeth Um, World Vision

Teacher Ms. Rous is using TRAC learning resources provided by World Vision to teach her students. Photo by Vanndeth Um, World Vision

Learning resources

It’s hard to learn to read without having anything to practice with. So World Vision partners to provide schools with reading materials – sometimes even ones created by the community! In countries like Uganda, World Vision helps community members to develop ‘Shell books’ written in the local language. It helps to get parents and community members invested in children’s education, and provides a form for oral stories to be recorded. World Vision also helps to establish libraries of donated school books so children can access a range of reading materials, and supplies schools with other forms of learning resources for the classroom.

"I have been trained thanks to World Vision on reading and writing skills. Our students could not read easily. With this method, they adapt because we begin with sounds when teaching them how to read. They finally come to associate the words," says Teacher Mr. Kavula. Photo by Alice Bafiala Mutombo, World Vision

“I have been trained thanks to World Vision on reading and writing skills. Our students could not read easily. With this method, they adapt because we begin with sounds when teaching them how to read. They finally come to associate the words,” says Teacher Mr. Kavula. Photo by Alice Bafiala Mutombo, World Vision

Teacher training

World Vision works to provide training for teachers to address the challenges they face, so they can help their students learn more effectively. That might include developing skills to help with struggling students, implementing child-centred teaching and active learning methods. Plus, World Vision partners with teachers to pass on important life skills, with activities based on practising good hygiene and how to respond in an emergency!

In the past, this school in Laos didn't have walls. Children were often cold, couldn’t concentrate on the lessons and often stayed home when the weather was bad.  World Vision helped the community build a new school. Photo by Mark Nonkes, World Vision

In the past, this school in Laos didn’t have walls. Children were often cold, couldn’t concentrate on the lessons and often stayed home when the weather was bad. World Vision helped the community build a new school. Photo by Mark Nonkes, World Vision

Improved facilities

Desks and chairs to sit on, walls and windows to keep out the cold, clean, safe toilets and running water. These are things you’d expect every Australian school to have – but schools in developing countries often lack these essential facilities, and it takes a toll. When students are uncomfortable from sitting on the hard ground or from cold winds, it makes it hard for them to concentrate. Without access to good hygiene and sanitation at school students – particularly girls entering puberty – are more likely to go home in the middle of the day and miss out on class. World Vision partners with schools to identify what infrastructure they need to create a good learning environment and works to deliver it.

Ten year old Ring from South Sudan loves his school's lunch program supported by World Vision. Photo by Jon Warren, World Vision

Ten year old Ring from South Sudan loves his school’s lunch program supported by World Vision. Photo by Jon Warren, World Vision

Food for learning

It’s tough to pay attention when your tummy is rumbling, but many students come to school without having had anything to eat. To solve this problem, World Vision supports school lunch programs! The meals are made by community volunteers, teachers, sometimes even by the students themselves. Some schools even grow the fresh produce themselves, to help students learn about good nutrition!

See how your support helps World Vision partner with communities to improve education and more!

Laura Tay Laura Tay

Laura is a Writer for World Vision Australia.

 

One Response

  • Andrea Jordan says:

    Thanks Laura, it’s interesting to see how success in education needs to be tackled in so many ways.

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