Why don't children around the world feel safe at school?
A global survey reveals children’s thoughts about school and education
By Dr. Douglas Ellenor
Chair and child sponsor
You wouldn’t think I should worry about my grandchildren when they’re in school. After all, schools are safe, aren’t they? Maybe not. In fact, 31 percent of children surveyed around the world say their school is sometimes safe.
The results from the Small Voices, Big Dreams survey released by the ChildFund Alliance worldwide network of 11 child-focused development organizations — in which Christian Children’s Fund of Canada is a member — shows staggering results.
Children in Burkina Faso (20 percent) and Senegal (14 percent) are most likely to say their school is never safe. In Canada, just 69 percent of survey respondents always feel safe in school.
Of course, each child feels vulnerable at school for varying reasons. In developing countries, infrastructure, such as well-built and clean schools is a top concern among those surveyed. In Canada, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents are threatened by physical or emotional violence, such as bullying.
The good news is the survey of more than 6,000 10- to 12-year-olds in 41 countries shows children love school and value education. These young minds understand an unsafe school is a barrier to their education — their future. Just ask Diana, 10, from Mexico. “A safe school means I can focus on mathematics, Spanish and science,” she tells us.
We hear Diana and her global peers. And, it’s up to us to make sure they can reach their full potential. Visit facebook.com/ccfc and twitter.com/ccfcanada to learn more about the issues children face and to spread the word about challenges in countries such as Burkina Faso, one of our areas of operation. To get more involved, visit ccfcanada.ca.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and joyful new year.
About Christian Children's Fund of Canada:
Christian Children's Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-focused international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 50 years, CCFC has been helping children and families of all faiths move from poverty to self-reliance. CCFC supports children and communities in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nicaragua and Paraguay. Currently, CCFC has almost 50,000 children sponsored, benefiting nearly 400,000 people around the world.