DeAnza College/CIS2/Summer 2011/Group 2

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CIS 2 Computers and the Internet in Society SUMMER 2011 Final Projects

Universal Education and Gender Equity


Universal Education

Universal education is the action of which every country around the world will provide primary schools for their people. It's believed that education is a natural right for an individual to have and the goal is to build and create schools everywhere, especially in undeveloped countries. By doing so, education can make a huge impact on the country itself because schools will be able to provide smarter, better, well-rounded, and educated people who can provide greater ideas to improve their country. Education is key to changes and success, so people need to have this opportunity to make a difference.


  • In 2006, 93 million children—more than the total population of the Phillippines—were not in school. Almost 80 percent of these children lived in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. For too many children, the basic human right to education is a pipe dream, an idea that has not become reality.[2]

This is why many people are working to make this a reality. Universal education is the becoming process of both boys and girls to equally have their right to attend school.

Gender Equity

Gender equity is the social order where men and women share the same rights regarding everything. For example, same opportunities, pay, jobs, etc. This fight for equality have been on-going and the goal is to achieve it around the world so nobody is discriminated because of their gender. UNICEF defines gender equity as "leveling the playing field for girls and women by ensuring that all children have equal opportunity to develop their talents."

People have been very stereotypical about the roles of men and women. Gender roles have definitely changed quite a bit in the United States, but other countries are still very strict on portraying gender roles. For example, occupation plays a big part in everyone's lives. People consider cooking, cleaning, sewing, and nurses as womanly jobs. Men had to be the one gong to school or the one who makes the money in the family. In the United States, this changed when women fought for their rights and now women can go to school and attain whatever job she wants as long as she can do it, and the same for men. Jobs are provided if you have the abilities to complete it without being biased on your gender.

"Gender equality refers to the equal valuing of the roles of women and men. It works to overcome the barriers of stereotypes and prejudices so that both sexes are able to equally contribute to and benefit from economic, social, cultural and political developments within society. When women and men have relative equality, economies grow faster and there is less corruption. When women are healthy and educated, their families, communities and nations benefit."

United Nation's Millennium Goals 2015

United Nations wants to end poverty. They listed their 8 goals, and goal number 2, is to have universal education. They would like to have everyone be able to complete a full course of primary education by 2015.

Every human being should have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves. Unfortunately, too many children in the world today grow up without this chance, because they are denied their basic right to even attend primary school. A sustainable end to world poverty as we know it, as well as the path to peace and security, require that citizens in every country are empowered to make positive choices and provide for themselves and their families.[3]


  • Enrollment in primary education in developing regions reached 89 per cent in 2008, up from 83 per cent in 2000.
  • The current pace of progress is insufficient to meet the target by 2015.
  • About 69 million school-age children are not in school. Almost half of them (31 million) are in sub-Saharan Africa, and

more than a quarter (18 million) are in Southern Asia.

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 30 percent of primary school students drop out before reaching a final grade.



Even though they don't believe it can have complete universal education by 2015, the progress is still on-going. These are a few things they've done to help.


  • Abolishing school fees in Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania
  • Investing in teaching infrastructure and resources in Ghana, Nepal and Tanzania
  • Promoting education for girls in Botswana, Egypt and Malawi
  • Expanding access to remote and rural areas in Bolivia and Mongolia

Programs and Organizations

Basic Education in Africa Programme

  • This program advocates countries to adopt a legal framework guaranteeing 8-10 years of uninterrupted basic education.[6]

Superscript text

“Berhane Hewan” Programme

  • This program advocates putting an end to child marriages so they can continue to be in school.
  • They mainly try to advocate girls from getting married so young.[7]

The World Food Programme (WFP)

  • WFP provides school meals which provides a nutritional foundation for intellectual devleopement and physical well-being.
  • They also advocate to have more girls attend school. [8]


The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

  • They address problems affecting education in politically unstable environments. [9]
  • ESCWA was responsible for infrastructure.
  • UNESCO was responsible for training and e-learning.
  • They wanted to enforce education strategy and instructor training.


UNICEF advocates quality basic education for all, with an emphasis on gender equality and eliminating disparities of all kinds. In particular, getting girls into school and ensuring that they stay and learn has what UNICEF calls a “multiplier effect.” Educated girls are likely to marry later and have fewer children, who in turn will be more likely to survive and be better nourished and educated. Educated girls are more productive at home and better paid in the workplace, and more able to participate in social, economic and political decision-making.

School also offers children a safe environment, with support, supervision and socialization. Here they learn life skills that can help them prevent diseases, like how to avoid HIV/AIDS and malaria. They may receive life-saving vaccines, fresh water and nutrient supplementation at school. Educating a girl also dramatically reduces the chance her child will die before age five.

Conversely, denying children access to quality education increases their vulnerability to abuse, exploitation and disease. Girls, more than boys, are at greater risk of such abuse when they are not in school. For many villages, a school also provides a safe haven for children, a place where they can find companionship, adult supervision, latrines, clean water and possibly meals and health care.

Yet even these basics are beyond reach for hundreds of millions of children. These children are deprived of their right to education because their families cannot afford school fees or other related costs, or because their communities are too poor or remote to have school facilities and supplies, or because they have to work to put food on the table. Children of indigenous populations or ethnic minorities often face discrimination and are excluded from education, as are children with disabilities.
In addition, HIV-AIDS has decimated schools, communities, and families around the world, creating orphans and other vulnerable children. Civil conflicts and humanitarian crises are also depriving children of the right to education. Girls often bear the brunt of these problems. They are the first to be withdrawn from school if money is short or if household work needs attention, if family members need to be cared for, if the school is too far away, or in situations of pervasive insecurity. The effect? The promise of a new generation is largely lost.

For the Education Goal to be met, actions need to address both human and material needs – buildings, books and teachers – and the organic requirements of getting all children into school and ensuring they complete a quality education. These include gender equality in society, good health and nutrition, and the strong backing of governments and communities. [10]

Four global partnerships are at the core of international efforts to accelerate progress in education and help countries achieve gender equality. These partnerships are the Education for All Global Action Plan, the Education for All-Fast-Track Initiative, the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Cluster for Education in Emergencies. [11]

Education for All Global Action Plan

The Education for All Global Action Plan, led by UNESCO, is a strategy to improve international and country-level coordination for Education for All (EFA), which aims to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. It works to clarify the roles of the five international agencies spearheading the global EFA movement (UNESCO, UNDP, the UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank) and define their coordinated, joint action at the global level. Ultimately, it aims to improve targeted action on the ground, at the country level. [12]

The Education for All-Fast-Track Initiative

The Education for All-Fast-Track Initiative, launched by the World Bank, is a global partnership between developed and developing countries to promote free, universal basic education by 2015. The initiative seeks to ensure that no country that has demonstrated its commitment to education will fail to meet this goal for lack of resources or technical capacity. In addition to mobilizing funds, the initiative supports the design of comprehensive sector-wide education plans and fills gaps in policy, capacity and data. [13]

The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative

The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), led by UNICEF, is a partnership of organizations committed to closing the gender gap in primary and secondary education. UNGEI provides advocacy and technical support for designing, financing and implementing national education plans. It offers stakeholders – which include UN system agencies, governments, donor countries, non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, communities and families – a platform for action and galvanizes their efforts to get girls into school.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Cluster for Education in Emergencies

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Cluster for Education in Emergencies is part of larger UN reform efforts to increase the effectiveness of humanitarian relief. UNICEF and the Save the Children Alliance are lead agencies for the partnership, whose task at the country level is to clarify the roles, responsibilities and accountability of UN and non-UN partners seeking to restore schooling in specific crisis situations. It also seeks to better coordinate efforts to rebuild education systems in post-crisis transitions. [15]