September 25, 2015 was a milestone day for the international development community. The United Nations passed a new, universal set of goals and targets for the next fifteen years: the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Also known as The Global Goals, these are 17 clear objectives and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030 in areas of critical importance to humanity. One that particularly resonates with Right To Play's own goals is Goal 4, which aims to 'ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all'. In other words, everyone should have access to a good education.
Why create a new goal for education?
This new SDG is an extension of one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were set by the international development community back in 2000, namely to achieve universal primary education by 2015.
While there has been good progress against this MDG—since 2000, primary school net enrolment rate in developing regions has risen from 83% to 91% (Source: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015)—this new SDG recognizes that increased participation has come at a cost to the quality standard of education children receive.
We know: of the world's 650 million primary school-age children, 250 million are unable to read, write or do basic mathematics. And more than half of these children have spent at least four years in school.
So the focus has now shifted from the quantity of children receiving education to the quality of that education.
How is Right To Play helping to deliver this goal?
Education—and in particular
providing quality education—is one of our key areas of focus: we firmly believe all children deserve access to a high-quality education, no matter their gender, race, religion or background.
Our approach is simple: we believe if school is fun, children want to be there and are better able to absorb what they are learning. This in turn leads to better attendance and improved academic achievement. And we also recognize that quality of teaching is a significant factor in a student's academic achievement.
So, to realise our aims of providing a better education to more children, we:
- work with governments to fulfil their duty to provide good quality education;
- train and support teachers to deliver better quality education through our unique play-based curriculum;
- work in partnership with local communities to design programs tailored to the specific issues they face; and
- design games that give children the knowledge and skills they need to overcome adversity and to tackle the challenges affecting their communities
As part of our commitment to this goal, we have recently launched the Play for the Advancement of Quality Education program in eight countries across Africa and Asia. This two-year program aims to improve academic performance on a large scale, reaching vulnerable and marginalized children.
What impact does our approach have?
We currently reach over one million children in some of the poorest communities worldwide. In those countries, our unique approach—using the educational power of sport and play—is enabling us to see improvements to children's attendance, enrolment, and academic performance.
Students in our programs are more likely to complete their learning. For example, in Ghana last year 99% of students in Right To Play classes completed their academic years versus 86% of students in non-Right To Play classes.
Teachers we have trained are better able to deliver child-centred teaching. For example, in Tanzania last year 65% of our trained teachers demonstrated the ability to engage students to create inclusive classroom environments, versus 27% of teachers outside the program.
Governments are recognising the value of our approach. For example in 2011, following the success of a trial, the Rwandan Ministry of Education formally included our syllabus in their National Curriculum.
Donate now to ensure more children are able to receive a quality education.