[b] Not all education is created equal.[/b]
Don’t get me wrong, I love education-and chances are, you do, too.
But there are some pretty big fundamental differences in educational systems around the world. Its quality and importance varies from country to country, and sometimes, one type of educational system can produce more or less literate students than another.
And that’s before you take into consideration that each country’s schools can be disrupted over time by political developments, economic pressures, religious events, and a myriad of other factors... We know, it’s complicated. But let’s mark out some interesting points- so you can know some more about how different countries employ what Mandela called “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”: education.
[b] Church and School [/b]
Some nations like separating of church and state. That can lead to educational systems that a lot of us are familiar with- ones that minimize religious influence. In Ireland, however, the dominant religion-Catholicism- has heavily impacted its schools.
Nearly all Irish primary schools are associated with Catholicism, and over 90% of Irish schools as a whole are owned by the Catholic Church. Thus, many schools in Ireland often allocate portions of time to religious education every day, and up until recently, a student’s faith could impact his/her chance of school admission.
As Ireland grows increasingly religiously diverse, however, the Catholic grip on the country seems to be loosening.
[b] Tests… Taken to the max.[/b]
Few students enjoy taking tests, and we all know that one friend who fakes sick during finals week. If you live in China, though, a test might be time to call the ambulance… literally.
The Gaokao, or the National College Entrance Examination, is exactly what it sounds like. One nine-hour exam decides it all for Chinese high school seniors- Chinese students are admitted into universities depending on how well they score on the Gaokao.
The test is grueling enough that ambulances are sometimes stationed outside of schools in case of nervous breakdowns.
Basically, it’s a pretty hard test. But the Gaokao is even harder if you’re a rural citizen. Significant educational gaps exist between rural and urban areas in China. This can be traced back to numerous factors, including the fact that urban Chinese schools typically offer better pay than rural ones- leading to a big lack of quality teachers in rural schools.
In other words, rural students are inherently disadvantaged. They don’t get the same level of education as their urban counterparts do, making it even harder for them to do well on an exam that has been regularly nicknamed the most difficult in the world.
To support better education for rural Chinese students, consider donating to our project, [url=https://www.givology.org/~rcfrchildren/]Reading Classes for Rural Education[/url], and learning more about our partner, Peach Foundation.
The Right to Education-Is Tied into Money [/b]
While the right to education is an internationally recognized human right, it doesn’t always come freely to every individual.
Around 61 million individuals of the primary-school age aren’t in school. These children live predominantly in developing countries- for example, around 60% of 7-year-old girls in the developing country of South Sudan don’t attend school.
Why is this number so high? As an emerging country, South Sudan doesn’t always have enough funds to create schools, provide the necessary schooling materials, and hire adequate teachers. UNICEF’s Chief of Education described the average South Sudanese classroom with the following words: “It’s basically a tree and a blackboard.”
Combine these surroundings and parental pressure on children to ditch school for a job, and you have the perfect recipe for a high dropout rate. In other words, a country’s monetary issues can damage its citizens’ rights to good education.
Citizens in Peru are stuck in similar struggles. Private education in Peru, which is taught in schools with good infrastructure and high-paying teachers, is often too expensive for many Peruvians.
In contrast, Peruvian public schools feature unmotivated teachers and low national budget.
The result- too many Peruvian children are taught in schools with passive teachers and poor resources.
To support new programs and more effective learning approaches for Peruvian students, consider donating to SKIP’s [url=https://www.givology.org/~peprogram/]Primary Education Program.[/url]
[b] Quantity doesn’t dictate quality! [/b]
In 2014, the U.S spent $12,157 per student on elementary and middle school education. And if it seems like a lot, that’s because it is!
The United States actually spends more than any other nation when it comes to educating their young people. Many other economically developed countries, like Denmark, France, and Japan, are part of an organization called OPEC (the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation-a mouthful, we know).
The average country in OPEC spends about $9,419 per student’s noncollegiate education.
In other words, the U.S spends 30% more money on education than your average developed country.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean American education is the most effective. Although Singapore spent less money on education, its students still performed better on educational assessments, such as PISA (Program for International Student Assessment).
So basically, money doesn’t dictate how effective education is.
What matters more is where you’re putting that money, and making sure that whoever’s receiving it is using it well…
[b] It’s more important to know that your money is going toward an effective cause![/b]
Like we said before, quantity doesn’t dictate impact.
So if you’re making a donation, be it a dime or a dollar, the most important factor is that you know exactly where that money’s going. Try to determine the type of impact it’ll make, and maximize the effects upon whoever that money goes to.
Your donations can always go toward an important cause- like supplying a textbook for a student, or funding a teacher. And it’s up to you to make sure that money is making the impact that you want it to.
So, how do you do that? That’s where Givology comes in. We connect you to students and grassroots projects so you can see directly where your money goes. If and once you make a donation, you can see exactly what type of impact it has on the recipient through things like student and project updates. That way, you can maximize the impact of every cent.
Whether you're giving through Givology or another nonprofit, let's all keep our head in the game- by making sure we know where our donations are going.
Givology Staff's Blog
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