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(Quiz) How hard is it to get a kid to school around the world?

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Education transforms lives, but in many places in the world, a whole host of factors – including poverty, conflict, a lack of resources and infrastructure – can all stand in the way of children getting an education. Take our quiz to find out just how hard it can be to get a child to school in some of the world’s hardest places, and donate now to support Tearfund’s partners as they help people to break out of the cycle of poverty.

Community School Class
Laos School Desk Girl
Question 1/6

True or false: In some parts of Pakistan, over half of school-age children are not attending school.



In Sindh province, where Tearfund's partner Diocese of Hyderabad is working, 52% of the poorest children - 58% of whom are girls - are not attending school.1

Accessing education can be a huge challenge for young people living in remote communities in Pakistan. Our partners's Primary Education Project (PEP) helps children to get a quality education by setting up primary schools in places that don't have a government school, and training local people to be teachers.

Mr Ghansham was trained as a teacher by Tearfund's partner. He says: “I changed my life through the different types of training I received from PEP … I learnt so many things.” Now, his pupils are accessing education and all the potential it offers. One of them shares: “I love to come to school and read, and write my homework. I have two brothers and we all come to school together.”

Another, the oldest girl in her family, says: “My mother never went to school in her childhood - she is happy to send me to school on a daily basis. Every evening I share my lessons with my father which I get from the school. Our teacher is so nice and always guides us where I make mistakes in reading or writing.”

Question 2/6

True or false: South Sudan has one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world.



There is a 29 per cent literacy rate for women in South Sudan compared to 40 per cent for men. This is one of the lowest female literacy rates in the world.


The work of Tearfund's partner ACROSS is helping to address this disparity by promoting education for girls and boys, and supporting under-resourced schools and teachers. One way ACROSS encourages girls to stay at school is by training “school mothers” like Martha (pictured), who champion girls' education. In Martha's community, parents often face economic pressure to arrange marriages for their daughters at a young age. If a girl misses school, Martha will visit the parents and encourage them to let her return. Although Martha didn't go to school herself, she believes fiercely that girls should have an education - that when girls are educated it is good for the family in the long run, and good for the community.

Question 3/6

True or false: Rates of Learning Poverty have stabilised since schools reopened following the COVID-19 pandemic.



In low- and middle-income countries, the share of children living in Learning Poverty (being unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10)—already over 50 percent before the pandemic—will rise sharply, potentially up to 70 percent.3

Learning losses were not the only impact of the pandemic, either. A joint report from UNESCO, UNICEF and The World Bank revealed that progress made for children and youth in other domains has stagnated or reversed. Schools ordinarily provide critical services that extend beyond learning and offer safe spaces for protection. During school closures, children’s health and safety was jeopardised, with domestic violence and child labour increasing. More than 370 million children globally missed out on school meals during school closures, losing what is for some children the only reliable source of food and daily nutrition. Advances in gender equality are threatened, with school closures placing an estimated 10 million more girls at risk of early marriage in the next decade and at increased risk of dropping out of school.

Question 4/6

True or false: Around 20% of children in Laos don’t complete primary school.



While Laos has made great progress over the last decade or so in increasing rates of primary school enrolment, there is still a way to go in ensuring children stay at school and complete their primary education. Only 81.9 per cent of enrolled children complete primary education.4 For children in remote areas of the country and those who come from poor families it can be especially challenging to access education and stay in school. There's also gender disparity, with fewer girls than boys completing their education.

Students and a teccher in Phongsaly province, Laos.

In Phongsaly province in northern Laos, Tearfund’s partner World Renew Laos is working to improve children’s access to education. Teachers (pre-school, primary and secondary) are trained in using creative teaching methods with specific focus on promoting numeracy and language skills for students whom the Lao national language is not their primary home language, and relating learning to their ethnic culture and context.

One teacher, Ms Sengvilay, says she can easily see the difference schooling makes to her students: “They will have a bigger picture, they will have a vision, and their livelihood, the way they live their life, will be different … they have new experiences, and they open their eyes and their perspectives.”

Question 5/6

True or false: 50% of pre-primary aged children in low-income countries are enrolled in pre-school.



While around half of pre-primary aged children globally are not enrolled in pre-primary education, in low-income countries the figure is much lower, with only one in five children enrolled.5


Children from marginalised backgrounds often struggle at school without solid foundations for learning. Pre-school helps children prepare to thrive, offering opportunities for them to socialise, build confidence and continue their education.

Tearfund’s partner Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church Development Commission has worked with local churches to establish over 100 pre-schools in rural areas where early learning opportunities are limited. Nigatu attended one of these pre-schools and it was a foundation for learning the basics – and making plans for the future!

“I like to learn the alphabet … I can write some words,” he says. “I want to be an engineer.”

Tesfanesh, Nigatu’s mum, is so happy that her son has had opportunities to socialise and start learning in preparation for primary school.

“He has learnt literacy, numbers and is able to understand what he has been taught,” she says. “He got basic education here and that makes me very happy.”

Question 6/6

True or false: Nearly all children in Nepal are enrolled in primary school.



This is great news! Nepal has made significant progress in education over the last two decades, and the net enrolment rate in primary schools is 97 per cent. However, geographical remoteness, gender and socioeconomic and ethnic differences can all be barriers to children attending and completing school.

Girls who are receiving education in Okhaldhunga district in mid-eastern Nepal

In the Okhaldhunga district in mid-eastern Nepal, Tearfund's local partner Share and Care is supporting young people in their education, including through adolescent girls' groups where young women receive training, support and encouragement. When one of our project officers visited Nepal last year, he saw how the work of Share and Care is encouraging girls to stay in school. One of the female students shared: “Since I joined this group I have developed a learning attitude - now I am doing better in examinations. Before, I wasn't aware of the importance of education. Now I attend school regularly and I care about my education.”

Your score: /6

How did you score? There’s still a long way to go in removing the obstacles that are in the way of getting kids to school, particularly in communities facing poverty.

But every single day, the work of Tearfund’s partners is evidence that the cycle of poverty can be broken, and pathways of hope and possibility can be opened up. Driven by hope, they are coming alongside communities to make a way where there appears to be none.

Your gift can help further this work today.

At Tearfund, our hope is in a God who is making all things new. Even in the world’s hardest places, where poverty and injustice are at their most extreme, our hope is in a God who makes “a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

Donate now to help make a way when poverty says there isn’t one.

Making a way out of poverty

End of Financial Year Appeal

The work of Tearfund’s partners is evidence that the cycle of poverty can be broken. Give now to make a way when poverty says there isn’t one.

Can help make a way towards better health for children and infants through access to health care.

Can be a pathway to brighter futures for children through access to education.

Can help families put food on the table, providing them with seeds so they can grow food and earn an income.

Can help build safer communities, empower families and restore relationships through self-help groups.

Emma Halgren is the Content Lead at Tearfund Australia.