Joyce Meng's Blog

Education - A Basic Human Right

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948:

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

Almost every country in the world recognizes education as one of the basic entitlements due to all people. Around the world today, however, more than 101 children of primary school age are out of school.

The graph below, taken from UNICEF’s statistics homepage, shows that number of primary age school children who were not enrolled in school in 2007.

Although there has been tremendous progress over the past few decades, largely in part due to the Millennium Development Goals campaign, persistent regional gaps still remain. For example, 46 million and 35 million primary school age children are not enrolled in school in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, respectively.

More importantly, the quality of schooling has emerged as a central concern. Even if children are enrolled in school, there is no guarantee that the quality of schooling is sufficient. A recent World Bank study found that 25% of government primary school teachers are absent from work, and only 50% are actually engaged in the act of teaching while at work. When teachers are often underpaid or undertrained, education itself can become useless and only a drain on family finances. Hence, improving the quality of schools will become one of the most essential challenges, especially as enrollment rates have improved dramatically.


Our mission at Givology is to provide students access to quality education throughout the world. As we’re kicking off our campaign for the Peace Primary School in Uganda, we’re cognizant of the challenges of delivering cost-effective, impactful schooling to some of the neediest and most underserved communities. One of the reasons why we’re so enthusiastic about the Peace Primary School is because the school has achieved some of the best results in the entire region, despite its focus on nurturing some of the most underprivileged students.

Many of the Peace School’s students are orphans whose parents have died of AIDS. Without the school, these children would have no one to care for them. The School provides for all their needs: housing, food, clothing, medical care, emotional support. Both Christian and Muslim children attend the School, which is open to people of all faiths. This is truly remarkable in a country that has been torn by ethnic and religious conflict. When we think back to the horrors over the last few decades committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army, we can truly appreciate the remarkable mission and commitment of the Peace Primary School.

The way the school works is also particularly enterprising. Families of school children contribute what little they can to their children’s education. To make up the gap in funding, the school earns operating funds by raising poultry, and children assist in gathering and selling eggs. At certain times of the year, chickens are also butchered and sold to fund school programs and initiatives. What an exemplary way to raise money and sustainably invest it in the school!

As we go about in our daily lives, it’s always worthwhile to pause and think about the impact of our actions. Everyone can make a difference – be it volunteering, spreading awareness, or even just talking to friends and families about important global issues.

Even a couple dollars to support the Peace Primary School can make a tremendous difference in the livelihoods of students, families, and communities. I really urge you to support our campaign – please do join our Peace Primary School Giving Teamto receive some of our latest updates from the school and to participate in our campaign.

Student Assembly at the Peace Primary School

Eating Lunch at the Peace Primary School

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