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At least 250 million of the world’s 650 million primary school age children are unable to read, write or do basic mathematics, according to a report commissioned by the U.N. education agency.

The report found that 130 million are in primary school but have not achieved the minimum benchmarks for learning, and almost 120 million have spent little or no time in a classroom including 57 million youngsters who are not attending school.
The independent research team that wrote the report for UNESCO, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, calculated that the cost of 250 million children around the world not learning translates to a loss for governments of around $129 billion annually.
UNESCO’s U.N. representative Vibeke Jensen said this global “learning crisis” is mainly caused by a lack of well-trained teachers, especially in impoverished areas.
“While more children are in school, it’s been at the cost of quality,” she said at a news conference launching the report. “The issue now is to put the focus on quality.”
In a third of countries analyzed by the team, less than 75 percent of the primary school teachers had been trained to meet national standards.
“Teachers have the future of this generation in their hands,” UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement. “We need 5.2 million teachers to be recruited by 2015, and we need to work harder to support them in providing children with their right to a universal, free and quality education.”
The report said that ensuring an equal, quality education can increase a country’s gross domestic product per capita by 23 percent over 40 years.
Interesting stats! I wrote about the need for more teachers during the 2013 World’s Teacher’s Day. See post here

One thing we can do as concerned stakeholders is to get active about getting kids into school and talking about their education with any chance we get in any local community forum. 
We can also get involved, and play our own role in whatever measure by contributing and or supporting public primary education initiatives and programmes. There is strength in talking about these issues in every relevant (even any) forum and opportunity we get. This builds up the momentum that (combined with our ideas and suggestions already lurking), will add vent to the collective clamoring for the refurbishment, modernization and ultimate reformation of our Teacher Colleges. Our country will progressively advance, as we educate the minds and enable the spirits of our people. Poverty and illiteracy will be reduced with a better education system. From the UN report above, it is clear that the Economies are directly affected by education- it impedes Gross Domestic Product output. 

Encourage a Teacher, Train a Teacher, Support Teacher Education!

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