Picture the glow of medieval squares illuminated by thousands of sparkling lights. Imagine gingerbread-style stalls where artisans offer traditional crafts that threaten to banish gifts of boring neckties and fruitcakes for eternity. Marvel at iPod-toting children falling under the spell of low-tech charms like wooden toys, ice rinks and vintage merry-go-rounds.
While once, education was the privilege of the wealthy – historically, the wealthy men to be more accurate – countries across the globe have improved access to basic education over the years. The total number of children who drop out of school has seen a reduction of 47 million since 1999, so things are looking positive; but millions still lack basic education and the advantages that learning brings. At the start of this decade, over 130 million teens and kids worldwide were outside of the education system: a concerning fact, given that individuals who lack education have limited resources and opportunities. The lack of access to basic education means less progress, less financial stability and a less sustainable country.