QUALITY EDUCATION - In this session students will be able to discuss their needs, desires and role in quality education. Knowledge on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child will be gained in regards to how and why quality education impacts not just children but the future of society.


Prior Learning

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • The Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • The Sustainable Development Goals


Displaced Person- a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

Equal Access to Education- The ability to attend school and receive an education under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Child Labour- the employment of children in an industry or business, especially when illegal or considered exploitative

Gender Roles- the role or behaviour learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms.

Poverty- the state of living with less than $1.25 USD a day; which is insufficient for long term basic survival


Where do I get my rights for education?

The Irish Constitution, under Article 42, to have the right to primary education. The education act of 1988 has also made it possible for all students, especially those with special requirements or needs from a school. You can find out more about your rights in the classroom at http://childrensrights.ie/content/know-your-rights-my-right-education .

  1. Discuss education as a right and how children globally currently don’t have access due to health, war, or resources.

  2. Engage in  the need for quality, relevant and inclusive education and lessons.

  3. Understand the importance of a quality education as a way to being an active member of your local community and a global citizen.






Quality education is severely lacking in under developed countries however with more funding and assistance quality education will be accessible by all. children living in conflict affected areas are greatly affected as over 50 per cent of children in conflict zones are out of school. with over 103 million youths worldwide are lacking in basic skills such as literacy, and over half of these are women.



  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes

  • By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality techical, vocational and tertiary education, including university 

  • By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing states

  • Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all.


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- Nelson Mandela 

"I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is not. It is the story of many girls."

-Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from Pakistan. She is known for her education and girls’ rights activism. In early 2009, at the age of 11, Malala began blogging for the BBC in Urdu under the pen name ‘Gul Makai’. She detailed her life under Taliban rule and her objections to the Taliban prohibition on girls’ education. On 9 October 2012, Malala, 14 years old, was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. She survived the assassination attempt but the Taliban has reiterated its intent to kill Malala and her father. In this video, Malala - age 16 - speaks to the United Nations at her first public speaking engagement since her attack.

Discussion Points: 

Girls in Education

Gender Roles still plays a large roll in the educating of girls.  More than half of the world’s out-of-school children are girls. An estimated 32 million girls who should be in lower secondary school are not receiving education. The world’s children are disproportionately educated with an estimated 6 million more girls are out-of-school than boys. The culture surrounding educating young girls impacts their future immensely. With millions of girls forced out of career paths in business, politics, or any other industry today.

Why are girls not being Educated?

In many cultures around the world girls are not given the opportunities to be given an education based on societal norms or resources. Many families will invest in educating boys to invest in their future careers while girls are destined to be homemakers and have children. Poverty further fuels this cycle and has also direct correlation with higher rates of child marriage, early pregnancy, child labour, house work, cost and distance keep girls in school. When girls are in school, especially those living in poverty, they don’t have access to safety and availability to water or sanitary facilities.

Why Should Girls be Educated?

  • If all women were educated, there would be 49% fewer child deaths

  • If all women had a secondary education in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia, child marriage would drop by 64%

  • If girls were educated, 68% of GDP will increase with their involvement in the workforce

The Malala Fund

If you’re interested in more information on Malala Yousafzai please visit the Malala Fund to learn more.


Other Facts from UNICEF

  • In 2011, only 60 percent of countries had achieved gender parity in primary education and 38 per cent in secondary education.

  • Out of approximately 31 million girls of primary school age out of school, roughly 17 million are expected to never enroll in school.

  • In the Arab States and sub-Saharan Africa, almost two in three out-of-school girls are expected never to go to school.

  • Of the world’s 650 million primary school-age children, at least 250 million are not learning the basics in reading and mathematics, many of whom are girls.

  • Despite recent advances in girls’ education, generations of women have been left behind: 493 million adult women are illiterate and account for almost two-thirds of the world’s 774 million illiterate adults.

  • Thousands of girls are kept from school due to poverty; institutional and cultural barriers; pressure for early marriage; lack of safety in getting to school; lack of separate latrines for boys and girls; sexual harassment and gender-based violence in schools; and domestic work overload.

  • In 44 of the 74 countries analysed in 2013/4 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, there is at least a 50 year gap between the richest boys and poorest girls in completing lower secondary school. In low income countries, the average gap is 63 years.

  • Even in the wealthier Punjab Province in Pakistan, only around half of poor girls in grade 5 could do simple subtraction, compared with more than 80 percent of rich boys.

  • Educating girls is one of the most effective strategies to combat child marriage, especially as they progress to secondary school. When a girl remains in secondary school, she is six times less likely to marry young.

  • A child born to a mother who can read is 50 per cent more likely to survive past age five.

  • If all women in low and lower middle income countries completed secondary education, three million lives of children under five would be saved every year.

  • If all women in sub-Saharan Africa completed their primary education, maternal mortality would fall by 70 per cent.

Group Work: Making the Links

Divide the class into smaller groups, hand out the infographics below and ask the participants to discuss how education can have impact on each of these issues.

• Example 1: Conflict - Through education people can learn about respecting difference.

• Example 2: Pollution - Through education people can learn about ways to reduce waste.

Hand out a lined A4 sheet of paper to each group and ask participants to write down a solution and pass the sheet to the next group and continue until each issue has been addressed.

Follow up : Hang the A4 sheets in the room, ask participants (in pairs) to choose an issue they would like to learn more about. Get them to design a poster or leaflet reflecting their choice.


Watch Niroz’s and Halima’s story above. The war in Syria has created a crisis for young people and children. Their current living environments in refugee camps across the world have caused a loss in Children’s rights. The ability to attend school and receive an education is negatively stunting an entire generation from the possibility to become doctors, poets, historians, or politicians.    



The current amount of displaced people in the world increases the amount of children who are unable to attend school. In 2012, a recorded 63 million children were not enrolled in any form of education. Of these children, half of them live in conflict affected areas. The impact of conflict has shown to take away the rights of children (The Convention of the Rights of the Child). One of the most impacted of these rights is education. 90% of girls living in conflict will not attend secondary school.


How does Niroz’s Story alter your opinion on education in general and your own education?


1. Brainstorm and decide on how your group can take action in your local community around the importance of education in the world, a specific issue such as the plight of the Nigerian girls or an issue in your local community you can change through educating your community.


1. Hold an art exhibition

2. Perform a flashmob

3. Create a public art installation (artivism -creating awareness around social change through public art)

4. Stage a play or create a video about the importance of education

5. Put up an information stand about your specific issue

6. Put on a fundraising event, concert, comedy night, poetry reading for your specific cause to do with education

2. Plan your event using our toolkit

3. Contact local media to cover the event

4. Spread your message online

5. Prepare, Rehearse, Motivate and Participate

This workshop was written and designed by Caitlin Banke for inquiries please contact us at itsaboutus@unicef.ie


UNICEF Ireland wants to support you to start a global movement for change beginning in our own communities. Stay connected online with other activists like you. 


If you would like more information, getting involved or posting a blog about your activism, please email us at itsaboutus@unicef.ie

Thanks to our Supporters

Irish Aid for supporting youth activism within UNICEF Ireland.