Education & Learning in Developing Nations (ELDN)
Providing quality education for all is fundamental to creating a peaceful and prosperous world. Education gives people the knowledge and skills they need to stay healthy, get jobs and foster tolerance. The right to education and the right to environment are arguably the two most important rights in the 21st century. With respect to right to education, Nelson Mandela once stated that ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ By necessary implication, right to education is the most important right with which the world can be changed. Thus, the right to the environment itself, nay other rights as well may have to depend for their exercise and optimal use on the right to education. A significant challenge for education in developing countries is that children are simply not learning enough, even when they are in school. For example, an estimated 250 million children are not learning basic reading and math skills, although half of them have spent at least four years in school. This is costing developing countries billions of dollars a year in wasted education funding. The focus of the educational system, therefore, needs not only to bring more children into school but also to improve the quality of the educational system itself. New communication technologies, particularly the Internet, appear to offer exciting possibilities for overcoming geographical access and cost barriers to learning. Yet it is hard to imagine that these technologies can have a positive influence on the education of children and adults who lack basic living resources and live with an under developed educational infrastructure in an environment of political instability.