Helping children access education


Save the Children helps millions of children around the world to go to school, because we know education can change a child's life.

Today, UNESCO estimates that 57 million primary-school aged children are not in school. Sometimes it's because they live in an area of conflict, there aren't enough teachers, they can't afford books or uniforms, or they have to work to support their family. Others drop out or even graduate from poor quality schools without learning basic literacy and numeracy skills. For children with disabilities, education facilities are often physically inaccessible to them or unable to cater for special learning needs.

Educating children around the world

Education is a path out of poverty for many children and their families. It gives them a chance to gain valuable knowledge and skills, and improve their lives. Save the Children works to support access to quality education for all children – girls and boys – no matter where they live.

We work in places like Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan, where eight out of 10 children do not go to school, and just 8 percent of men and 0.3 percent of women can read and write. Thanks to our Australian Government-funded Children of Uruzgan program, 2240 young children including 1036 girls are now accessing early childhood education, and 2775 school-aged children are attending community-based classes. More than 2145 adults including more than 1220 women have also attended courses on basic numeracy and literacy.

We know early learning gives children the chance to learn, grow and prepare for school. We've established 80 Early Childhood Care and Development centres in Khyber Paktunkhwa province in Pakistan. We're assisting these children to transition to primary school and have also supported 400 primary schools with teacher training, better classrooms and facilities and learning materials.

Providing education to children in Australia

We've been supporting education for disadvantaged children in Australia since the 1950's. Running in 100 sites across Australia, our Early Childhood Care and Development programs support children in remote and disadvantaged communities to develop and prepare for school. 

We also work in Australia to improve access to school for disadvantaged children. In particular, we work to increase school attendance for children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who may need extra support to remain connected to school.

South Australia recently introduced The Champions of Children’s Rights program, a whole school/organisation approach which builds children’s and young people’s capacities to participate actively in their schools and communities.

Our Youth Engagement programs provide young people who've become disengaged from education, or are in contact with the juvenile justice system, with support to develop the skills and resilience to turn their lives around.

Education in emergencies

Emergencies cause serious disruptions to a child's education. It is crucial for their development, safety, and recovery for children to return to school as soon as possible. In emergency situations where the education system is unable to function as normal, Save the Children establishes temporary learning centres and provides safe environments for children to learn and play. We're currently providing access to education and support to children who've fled conflict in Syria. Find out more about our Syria crisis appeal.