By Malala Yousafzai, Student, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Co-Founder of the Malala Fund
No child should have to pay the cost of war, to be kept away from the classroom because of conflict. Yet whole generations of refugee children from countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine and South Sudan have had to leave their homes and schools. But they do not leave their dreams of a better future for themselves and their countries, a future only possible through education.
It is unacceptable that just half of refugee children have access to primary education and one quarter have access to secondary education. It is unacceptable that girls are nearly always the first to miss out. Education is every child’s basic human right.
Dreams should not end because of conflict. Futures should not be put on hold because of war. There is no tomorrow for countries affected by conflict unless their children learn today, and not just the basics, but an education that gives them the tools and skills they need to fly.
World leaders have promised to provide every child with a full 12 years of education by 2030. Young people displaced by war are not the exception.
Humanity should know no borders. There are solutions, as this paper shows, but the world must come together and make good on its promises.
We know what we have to do.