A report from the United Nations indicates that 67 million kids around the world are not attending school. A big portion of that number is the 28 million children that are prevented as a result of armed conflicts.
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Not only do many of these conflicts involve children being used as soldiers themselves (as in Congo, Myanmar, Chad and Sudan to name a few) but they are also diverting public funds from education to military spending.
UNESCO’s 2011 Global Monitoring Report concluded that the world is not on track to achieve the goal set by world leaders at a U.N. summit in 2000 “by a wide margin,” despite progress in many areas.
According to the report, overall aid to basic education has doubled since 2002 to US$4.7 billion, but falls far short of the $16 billion required to help low-income countries.
The report calls for tougher action against human rights violations to ensure all youngsters get a primary school education, an overhaul of global aid priorities, and greater attention to the ways education failures can increase the risk of conflict.
The U.N. education agency has set a goal of creating universal primary education by 2015, but if current trends continue, they are likely to fall far short of that target.
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