Creating the ripple effect

An education is a fundamental human right that every child, regardless of gender, is entitled to.
A quality education is key to escaping a life of poverty and exploitation. It creates a ripple effect of opportunity that can influence generations to come, with educated adults having smaller, healthier families and being aware of proper child-rearing practices.

A school for every child

In an emergency, school provides the stability and routine that children need to cope with loss, fear, stress and violence. Going to school keeps children protected from sexual violence, free from recruitment into armed groups and forced labour, and it reduces the chance of an early marriage.

UNICEF provides School-in-a-Box kits during emergencies. These contain enough supplies and materials for teachers and up to 40 students, so teachers can quickly establish makeshift classrooms almost anywhere. The kit ensures children can keep going to school, even within the first 72 hours of an emergency.

For girls, one year at high school can mean increases in wages later in life by as much as 25 per cent. Education for women means choices, autonomy, and a chance to live independently.

In many parts of the world, girls still don't receive an education. When girls are prevented from going to school simply because they are girls, it sends the message that they are less valued.

Too few children are attending preschool programmes, and those that are tend to be from the richest 20 per cent of the population. Investing in early childhood education is a powerful way to reduce the disadvantages faced by children with low social and economic status. 

A quality education equips girls and boys with the knowledge and skills they need to adopt healthy lifestyles, protect themselves and their communities from preventable diseases, and have a say in their own futures. We want that education to start from their earliest years.

We need more schools

Almost 60 million primary school-aged children worldwide still do not go to school. With better access to education, countries can foster greater opportunity, strong economic growth, and increased employment, instead of the ongoing cycle of poverty and unrest.

Children's education rights

Articles 28 and 29 of the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of the Child state that all children have the following rights regarding education.

Children have a right to an education.

Discipline in schools should respect children's human dignity.

Primary education should be free for all children.

Wealthy countries should help poorer countries achieve all child education rights.

Education should develop each child's personality and talents to the full.

Education should encourage children to respect their parents, and their own and other cultures.

Read more about UNICEF'S History here.
our history

What is UNICEF doing?

We're on a mission to see every child learning, right up until they are 18 years old. 
Our work for education is varied - from programmes in South Africa and Zambia so new mothers can go back to school after childbirth, to providing School-in-a-Box kits and tents to create temporary classrooms for children after natural disasters.

We also set up early childhood centres throughout the Pacific and South America, and provide child development and recreation programmes to developing regions so kids have the chance to play and learn in a safe environment.