The school year start may be a delight (or dismay) to millions of kids around the globe. However, it’s important not to forget that, in some parts of the world, even an elementary school education can be a hard-won luxury.
Some of the children have to take the most dangerous roads in the world to receive the education that some of us may take for granted. If school way might seem boring to kids in wealthier countries, these little ones are surely glad to have a chance at a better future.
The Most Dangerous Ways
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They climb up mountainous paths, swim across rivers or fight their way through icy wastelands with -50 degrees Celsius. Their path takes them through amazing natural landscapes, producing spectacular scenery for a very ordinary task. The participants, at times without shoes and for days at end, are mere students on their way to school. Everyday routine meets the spectacular.
Each of us remembers their way to school. But how exciting would it have been, if you had ran through the African steppe, with crocodiles making occasionally appearances? Or when the school way had been a narrow path alongside a steep gorge dropping into a deep emptiness?
“On the Way to School reminds us that education is a treasure, a path for a better future.”
– Forest Whitaker
According to UNESCO, progress in connecting children to schools in third world countries has slowed down over the past couple of years. Areas that lack suitable school routes can often flood, making it even harder for kids to commute. Dangerous paths and the obstacles on the way to school are one of the main reasons why many children decide to quit education.
The solution might seem straightforward: Build more schools, or at least roads and bridges, buy buses and hire a driver. However, the lack of funds and recurring natural disasters in many countries make it difficult to provide children with the solutions they so desperately need.
The Right To Education
The right to education is reflected in international law in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
- Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
- Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
- Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”
– Frederick Douglass