Basic education and gender equality

Quality of education and child-friendly schooling

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© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-1119/Kate Holt
Children attend a hygiene education class that is part of a UNICEF-supported water, sanitation and hygiene programme in a primary school in Naros Village, near the town of Lodwar, Rift Valley Province, Kenya.

On any given day, more than 1 billion of the world’s children go to school. Whether they sit in buildings, in tents or under trees, ideally they are learning, developing and enriching their lives.

For too many children, though, school is not always a positive experience. Some endure difficult conditions, like missing or inadequate teaching materials or makeshift sanitation facilities. Others lack competent teachers and appropriate curricula. Still others may be forced to contend with discrimination, harassment and even violence. These conditions are not conducive to learning or development, and no child should have to experience them.

Access to education that is of poor quality is tantamount to no education at all. There is little point in providing the opportunity for a child to enrol in school if the quality of the education is so poor that the child will not become literate or numerate, or will fail to acquire critical life skills.

UNICEF is profoundly committed to securing safe, rights-based, quality education for each and every child, irrespective of his or her circumstances.

For UNICEF, quality education is education that works for every child and enables all children to achieve their full potential. With this in mind, we have worked to create a rights-based, comprehensive educational model – Child Friendly Schools – that embraces a multi-dimensional concept of quality and addresses the total needs of the child as a learner. Child Friendly Schools are now the major means through which UNICEF advocates for and promotes quality with equity in education.


 

 

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