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Education is a human right. Though there’s room for improvement when it comes to educational access in Canada, the country is constantly working to provide opportunities for students from underserved communities. The Experiential Learning in Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ELITE) Program for Black Youth, for example, helps black high school and university students with paid internships in the STEM field, allowing the youth to develop their STEM knowledge through practical applications.

In contrast, many students in Africa do not have the means to access quality education. UNESCO studies have shown that over 20% of children aged 6 to 11 and 60% of teenagers aged 15 to 17 do not attend school. Most families simply cannot afford the cost of tuition and school supplies, while others, particularly children from rural communities, live too far from most educational institutions. Those that do go to school have to endure environments that are not conductive for learning, due to a lack of proper school facilities in African countries.

Fortunately, many organizations worldwide are dedicated to addressing the issue. From training teachers, to building schools, to covering tuition costs for financially struggling students, the following organizations are doing their part to improve educational opportunities in Africa.

Africa Hope Fund

The main goal of the Africa Hope Fund is to promote African wildlife conservation through education. Aside from donating funds to improve school facilities across the continent, the Africa Hope fund creates educational programs and classes that teach local children about the importance of wildlife conservation, and what they can do to help.

The Africa Hope Fund also has a student sponsorship program, which allows donors to contribute money directly to a child’s education. Donors can match with students from AHF’s partner schools and cover the cost of their tuition, school supplies, and other essentials. Sponsors are encouraged to personally communicate with their chosen students and track their progress. Donors who lack the funds to sponsor individual students can also contribute money to AHF’s sponsorship fund.

Bridge International Academies

One of the biggest barriers to educational access in Africa is the lack of qualified teachers. That’s the main problem Bridge International Academies wants to address. The organization, which operates in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, creates training programs that help novice teachers enhance their skills and techniques. Bridge also provides teacher tablets, which serve as guides that can help teachers deliver lessons effectively. Teacher tablets contain scripts written by top educators in America.

Bridge International Academies builds schools staffed by its trained teachers. Students from Bridge schools have consistently scored high on national tests. In Kenya, the majority of Bridge students outperform their peers in the Kenya Certificate Of Primary Education, which further proves the effectiveness of Bridge’s methods.

Campaign For Female Education

Growing up in rural Zimbabwe, Angeline Murimirwa noticed that educational inequality disproportionately affected young girls. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics revealed that only 8% of women in sub-Saharan Africa enroll in tertiary education. To address the issue, Murimirwa established the Campaign for Female Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping girls across Africa go to school.

CAMFED builds partnerships with schools in rural communities across Africa, namely Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, where they identify financially struggling students and cover the costs of tuition, uniforms, books, and other essential supplies. CAMFED also invests in new equipment and infrastructure to make schools more conducive to learning.

Educational inequality is a big problem across the world, but especially in African countries. Fortunately, efforts from organizations have helped to improve educational access for students across the continent.