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Transforming Education – missing a critical piece

Published: 16.09.2022
Jessica Thompson Director of Policy, Strategy and Advocacy
If you struggle to see, you struggle to learn

This week, some of the world’s most influential decision-makers will meet at the United Nations to address transforming education to become more inclusive, equitable and safe. A notable and incredibly important meeting to begin to unravel the global crisis currently failing our education systems, and, ultimately, our children. 

However, these discussions are missing a critical piece to a sustainable solution – eye health. 

Frustratingly, many of the world’s leaders fail to make the connection between healthy, clear vision and education attainment, attendance levels, long-term social and economic opportunities.  

Overlooking eye health in school-aged children is a shortcoming that has devastating consequences for children, their families, communities and economies.   

So, with a collective effort, how do we add in the missing piece? 

In July, IAPB took this message to the Pre-Education Summit held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. We had chalkboards filled with blurry text, we put our messages in front of powerful people, and we garnered signatures for our cause. 

Dozens of individuals met with our team and began to understand that without eye health in our schools, we will never reverse the slide on SDG 4, reimagine education, or accelerate progress on education.  

So, along with the UN Friends of Vision, we are filled with hope and determination that during this decade of action, where we already have a UN Resolution on Vision, eye health will be an action track on every transforming education agenda.  

I invite you to help us keep pushing this message forward. Champion school eye health programmes, and discuss challenges and solutions so that when the next Transforming Education Summit is upon us, our cause is too loud and too visible to be passed over. 

For more information on child eye health and vision, visit Focus on Child Eye Health.