University for Peace Global Network for Upeacebuilders
Monday February 18th 2019

United Nations’ Educational Impact on helping children

United Nations runs ECD fro childrens’ development and entertainment

The United Nations, specifically the United Nations Children’s Fund known as UNICEF, highlighted basic education and gender equality as one of five areas of focus in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals set by the organization. UNICEF has established a comprehensive plan to enact such change, targeting underdeveloped nations and particularly nations undergoing an emergency situation or recovering from one. Early child development (ECD) programs focus on children at or below first grade, temporary schooling is made available to older children during disasters or other losses of educational continuity, and most pervasively, schooling is westernized once education becomes privatized in developing countries.

When an industrializing nation seeks a loan from Bretton-Woods institutions such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund, or else from a U.N. member nation, they must comply with a long list of conditionalities referred to as the Washington Consensus, or more technically, Structural Readjustment Policies. Chief among these is the stipulation of infrastructure privatization, where government cuts funding to schooling in order to make loan payments and private industry steps in to fill the void. With this change of management, companies are more capable of providing basic needs and facilities while bringing techniques and resources from the modern world; children that have very limited access to literature and digital media gain opportunities that might have been slow to materialize.

Nations in turmoil that lack stability to justify building infrastructure are not forgotten, as camps are established at friendly locations to keep children on track. When floods in 2011 forced much of southern Pakistan to convert schools to shelter for over seven million displaced homeless, UNICEF stepped in and established camps at places like the Institute of Business Administration.

ECD programs are especially effective, giving young children the skills that they will need in the long-term future, such as reading in internationally prevalent languages and gaining familiarity with technology. While local education will remain culturally influenced, children are engaged via movies such as those coming from Voice of America’s In Focus network and enjoy exposure to classic liberal endeavors like the arts. Young people who would never take the stage might enjoy learning about current issues such as piracy – which draws the disenfranchised youth in the most impoverished areas – by putting themselves in those roles, dressed in pirate costumes and interacting together with moral considerations in mind. In the long run, many of these kids will think more globally and as conscientious citizens.
For the more adult children perhaps in their teens, celebrations of local holidays are often styled on the 70s music and fashion of the west, where the great influence of music and fashion made such an impact.

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