Education is a right deserved by all, which the international human rights law guarantees. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, declared in Article 26: ‘Everyone has the right to education’.
According to a UNESCO report in 2016, up to 263 million children globally were not attending school. This number reflects about one in every 10 children. In the past, education wasn’t given the attention it requires. This has given birth to a recent rise in the number of governments and organizations working to improve and provide education opportunities to address this growing issue.
Chairman of Royal Golden Eagle, Sukanto Tanoto founded the Tanoto Foundation along with his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto, in 1981. The Tanoto Foundation aims to improve access to knowledge and education globally. Presently, they operate in Indonesia, Singapore, and China.
Starting off with Southeast Asian institutes, Sukanto Tanoto’s foundation has partnered with Wharton for a five-year program. A total donation of $5 million has been pledged, with the initial fund amounting to $1 million. The program is built around five focus areas to ensure efficient interaction between Wharton and the institutes.
The following initiatives came to fruition as a result of the funding provided by Tanoto’s foundation.
- The Wharton Global Faculty Development Program supported 12 academics from two of Indonesia’s finest universities in expanding their research.
- The Faculty of International Seminars brought six Wharton academics to Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand. This was done to increase the exchange of knowledge and research. Here they were introduced to leaders from the government and business sectors.
- Research grants distributed to six faculties in Indonesia and ASEAN countries.
- A student was gifted with a full four-year scholarship to attend the Wharton education program
- Five years into the program, a total of 275 Wharton students have participated in Global Modular Courses which offer a window into Southeast Asia. This gave them the opportunity to open up to other innovative ideas.
The Tanoto Foundation is leading the charge with regard to increasing access to quality education. Another excellent example is the quality of education provided by Canada. The triennial Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranking Canada in the top 10 in its survey of the educational performance of 72 member and non-member nations.
Canada recently released its International Education Strategy (IES) 2019-2024. The budget has been set to an amount of $147.9 million for the coming five years. According to the Minister of International Trade Diversification James Gordon Carr, the following key strategies will be in focus: encouraging Canadian students to take up opportunities provided by key global markets (especially Asia), diversifying the number of countries international students come from, and providing increased support for the Canadian institutes part of the education sector.
According to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Labour of Canada Patricia A. Hajdu, the IES includes a five-year ‘Outbound Student Mobility Pilot’ program that is meant to help post-secondary students with the cost of studying or working abroad and to help improve the skills required to make them active participants in the global market.
Thanks to institutions like the Tanoto Foundation, and the Canadian Government, the future of education is changing for the better.