An educational NGO is a group that is outside of any governmental agency and focuses primarily on education. The type of education involved in these programs often involves people of different cultures and nations, but it is possible to have a national educational NGO. These programs may focus on charity or service work, but many focus on empowerment both for groups and individuals. Education is seen as imperative to the development of the self-worth of individuals and is thought to have effects on the entire lives of individuals. As such, advocating for education is important to many different groups.
In most cases, an educational NGO focuses on ways of providing education rather than providing education itself. Different areas have different standards of education, and investigating the ways in which these different systems prepare citizens for adult life is important on an international scale. Education is often thought to be the responsibility of the nation, which can make it difficult to draw education into a non-governmental arena. As such, personal empowerment is often the focus of educational NGO summits.
Some programs focus on specific types of educational empowerment, such as non-traditional education resulting from individualized access to information. Strategies for improving educational offerings are also often a key goal. Groups may also focus on a purely descriptive understanding of how education impacts the development of young people into adults as well as what effects education may have on society.
A national NGO is often more empowered to make changes within a single country. For example, some programs of this type focus on improving education among a specific social group or in a certain geographic area. Inner-city education is the focus in some cases, while rural education may also be addressed. By looking more deeply into a problem, a group focused on a small area of this type can often provide dramatic results.
Funding for an educational NGO can be highly problematic because groups do not always see the benefits of funding education. When an educational NGO aims to actually provide educational services rather than just provide empowerment, actual resources, like teachers, buildings, and supplies, are needed. Seeking out funding through local sponsors can be a major part of an educational NGO's business plan.
The goal of any NGO is to improve society, and education is a demonstrated way to accomplish this goal. By increasing literacy, equal access to education, and early education, many people believe that societies will be more able to improve themselves. On the other hand, educational NGOs do not address the physical dangers present for many students in certain areas and are thus not always able to accomplish their goals.