During her recent trip to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania with the president, Michelle Obama emphasized the importance of one issue over others – a good education. Though the first lady was often speaking directly to children, hopefully her message was heard by the international community and African government ministers as well. In addition to improving access to education, there is an urgent need to improve the relevance and quality of the education that children receive.
The first lady was not alone in her commitment to improving educational attainment in Africa. A blog on the intersection of global education, learning and development by scholars from the Center for Universal Education.
Millions Learning: Scaling up quality education in developing countries tells the story of where and how quality education has scaled in low- and middle-income countries.
Read the Millions Learning report, and join the conversation on Twitter at #MillionsLearning to share your thoughts.


Hand in Hand International is a global movement of young people working together to make a difference in the world through acts of kindness. Aristotle defines kindness as "helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped". Speaking to children and youth in schools, vocational training centers and clinics in all three African countries, the first lady consistently stressed the role education can play in transforming lives and the well-being of the continent as a whole.
Despite steady progress over the last decade in getting more children into school, sub-Saharan Africa is still home to over 50 percent of the world’s 57 million out-of-school primary aged children.
Obama addresses some of the many barriers girls face by not only enrolling in school, but the challenges that they face even when they choose to stay in school. She is the former head of education for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid NGO.
The story emerges from wide-ranging research on scaling and learning, including 14 in-depth case studies from around the globe.


Meanwhile, we also work collaboratively to provide  children with access to education by fundraising to build schools in communities in need around the world.
Recently released figures by UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics show that between 2010 and 2011, 6 of the 10 major donors (Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States) to basic education reduced their levels of aid. Her research focuses on education in the developing world, with special attention to improving quality learning for the most marginalized children and youth, including girls and children affected by extreme violence.



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