By Beth Stolicker
Mission Network News
This story is based on a podcast interview with TeachBeyond President George Durance about the global learning crisis and how the church and respond. Click on this link to hear the podcast.
Recently the UN released a statistic that six out of ten children in the world aren’t meeting levels of proficiency in learning. The details of this statistic were recently outlined by BBC News.
Learning Across the Globe
“In the economically disadvantaged parts of the world, there is an absolute crisis in education…we really do have a crisis on our hands, a global crisis. And it’s the responsibility of the Church,” TeachBeyond’s President George Durance explains.
“The local people are keenly aware of what’s going on. I think we have to get over our patronizing attitude and realize that the local people are appalled at that issue there and many of our church leaders are,” Durance says.
“They are doing their very best to address the issue and this is where those in the international community, the global Church, can come alongside and really give them a boost.”
More Than Resources
But the need for resources for education is only a portion of the problem. The learning gap has to be approached with a holistic solution. One of the problems is poverty. And poverty, as Durance puts it, creates a poor learning environment.
“There is a sense in which I think one would say it’s not primarily a spiritual issue in the sense that there’s some biblical error or truth that is in error here or missing. It’s rather that we need to see the biblical Christian worldview permeating the educational endeavor that’s taking place.”
A Biblical Response
In other words, we can’t assume that if people would just follow the Bible’s teachings, it would fix the problem. Durance believes there’s a bit more to being a part of the solution to this education problem while sharing Jesus.
“It’s about the way in which a child comes into a classroom and sees the care and love, the prayer, the understanding that the world around them is orderly and God is sovereign.
And just as the education problems needs a holistic fix, it would seem that sharing the Gospel’s truths with kids and families also needs a holistic approach. They need to experience Christ’s love in the classroom, not just Bible teachings. In other words, these people need to see the Bible’s truths lived out by Christians in the classroom.
So, how can we help?
Well, start by praying. Ask God to raise up more holistic Christian educators who have compassionate hearts for the world’s most needy. Ask God if he wants you to be part of the solution, too. Pray for the families who’ve relocated because of a crisis, for God to meet their needs and help them to adapt.
Durance also says there’s room for hundreds to go abroad. “We have many other organizations that are also seeking to do this. It’s not about Teach Beyond, it’s not our corner or anything like that.
“But there is a unique open door for us now to help the Church in the less privileged areas of the world address this problem; to work through the Church there because the Church gets it. They are in position and in this way we can integrate the educational revolution that we’re calling for, into the whole Church growth movement that exists in these countries.”
- Provide financial support for TeachBeyond’s global mission by clicking here.
- Learn how you can go and teach in a school overseas by clicking here.
This story first appeared on the Mission Network News website – www.mnnonline.org
Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay