Education is a key factor to reducing and preventing global poverty. Many countries around the world are beginning to realize the importance of education and are investing in it significantly. Making education available to 100 percent of people around the world is one way to ensure that poverty declines. Let’s look at the three most significant ways education prevents poverty and hunger.
Education benefits people’s health throughout their entire lives, from a mother’s pre-birth lifestyle to the likelihood of developing diseases later in life. Women with at least six years of education are more likely to use prenatal vitamins and other useful tactics during pregnancy, thus reducing the risk of maternal or infant mortality. In general, education increases people’s knowledge of how to live a healthy lifestyle. Educated people know what kinds of foods are most nutritious, and therefore are more likely to buy those healthier foods for themselves and their families. Educated mothers will know how to prepare healthy meals for their families and outside that caters for others as well.
- Economic Growth
Education also creates more people who are ready for the workforce. More workers in a country means fewer people will be unemployed. Unemployment has a high correlation with poverty; therefore, by employing more people, a country’s poverty rate will naturally decrease.
No country in the world has achieved rapid and consistent economic growth without at least 40 percent of its adult population being literate. Education can motivate people to become harder workers and can give people the drive to move up in the workforce. Increasing the literacy rate in a country can drastically improve economic development.
Investing in Education Can Reduce Global Poverty and Hunger.
In the year of 2011, 57 million primary-aged school children were not enrolled in school in developing countries. The number of secondary-aged school children was even more staggering. With these statistics, the Global Partnership for Education went to action for the organization saw a continuous trend throughout these developing countries.
When children are not given the opportunity to receive a proper education, their chances of a better life are extremely dismal. When children are not properly educated, they only become a factor in contributing to the cycles. This is the key argument The Global Partnership for Education is making, an organization taking steps towards improving the lives of numerous children in developing countries. This organization is the only multilateral partnership which is completely devoted to helping these children receive an education and an equal opportunity.
Investing in an individual’s education is one of the most effective strategies for defeating global poverty and hunger, and has been noted for improving numerous other factors within a developing country as well. By investing in an education in developing countries, there are several positive outcomes.
Education is not only an influential role in every individual’s personal life; it also benefits society as a whole. If everyone in the world had an equal opportunity at an education, the world would no longer have to face the horrible issue of global poverty which leads to hunger. Though many do not realize this, education goes far beyond arithmetic, writing, and reading. For beyond these three educational elements is the future of one’s country, the end to inequality, and the key to reducing global poverty.
Education that targets marginalized and poor populations will bring change to many of the systemic factors that have contributed to the delay in poor communities’ development. Education can prevent the transmission of poverty between generations. Education also has documented effect on health, nutrition, economic development and on environmental protection
Food insecurity and poor nutrition is due to poverty and unequal distribution of resources, but it is also due to insufficient knowledge of production methods and on nutritional facts. Children who have poor health or who are hungry will not come to school – or their performance will be impaired by poor health and nutrition. Many children in developing countries face severe nutritional and cognitive deficits from the beginning of life. Estimates suggest that up to one-eighth of all children in developing countries are born malnourished and that 47 percent of children in low-income countries—continue to be malnourished before the age of five. Early malnutrition weakens children’s physical and cognitive potential and even their non-cognitive traits such as motivation and persistence.
Through basic education, marginalized people learn more about health and are better able to protect themselves and their children against diseases. The level of health among children and young people improves if their parents have had an education. This in turn increases their likelihood of receiving, and benefiting from, an education. It is important to remember that improvements in one area, benefits several others, and we need to constantly look for the most effective synergies.
For girls, the effect of education is particularly strong. If all women in poor countries completed primary education, child mortality would drop by a sixth, saving almost one million lives each year. If they all had a secondary education, it would be cut in half, saving three million lives. Education can prevent maternal mortality by helping women recognize danger signs, seek care and make sure trained health workers are present at births. If all women completed primary education, maternal mortality would be cut by two-thirds, saving 189,000 lives each year. Combined investments in food security, nutrition and education are necessary to reduce malnutrition and will also increase children’s ability to learn.
As mentioned before, the lowest income countries and fragile states are often hardest hit by the effects of natural disasters, and where food insecurity is the highest. Many of these countries are also the ones in which the population growth is the highest. This again has implications for the ability of the school system to provide quality education for all.
Education can combat the underlying structures of poverty
Increased access to education can contribute to reducing poverty. Acquired basic skills such as reading, writing and numeracy, have a documented positive effect on marginalized populations’ incomes. It increases the rate of return on the economy.
It is therefore important to invest in education that provides children and youth with relevant theoretical and practical skills.
Let me end by quickly highlighting some of the issues in which government has indicated will be high on their education for development agenda:
- The immense lack of job opportunities for youth is a major challenge globally.
- Several studies postulate that the deficiencies of extreme poverty, terrorism, and other forms of conflicts that have plagued societies for a long time are byproducts of illiteracy. Furthermore, that illiteracy is the underlying condition and the aforementioned are only systems – and – addressing the symptoms does not impact the underlying condition that gave rise to it in the first place – the underlying condition of illiteracy. Personally, I give credence to this viewpoint or standpoint because I have seen firsthand and even heard how qualitative education has brought about awareness that has lifted individuals and societies from extreme poverty, brought about economic, social and political revival and breakthroughs, and has affected the attitude of humans towards fellow humans, thereby leading to the peaceful coexistence that had previously eluded them.
- I believe that education is an inalienable right of everyone, so therefore should be free and compulsory, on the other hand, higher education should be accessible to all on the basis of merit. Like I stated before, I have seen firsthand how education has transformed individuals and societies positively, so, yes! Education can transform lives. Education can bring about the prospects of a bright future. Education can lead to technological advancements. Education can proffer solutions to social, economic and political problems. Education can bring peace. As a peace advocate I have seen the awareness created by education give life to communities that were hitherto fraught with conflicts but for education to bring about all these positive changes here stated, it must be education of good quality.
- The ultimate aim of education is learning which should increase the prospects of a future filled with opportunities, wholly transform society, technologically, economically and politically, and lift people from poverty. It is important that education reduces poverty. “When we put education first, we can reduce poverty, and hunger, and wasted potential and look forward to stronger and better societies for all. Families have made huge material sacrifices to ensure that their children enroll and finish schools, because they recognize the benefits associated with education, and they hope to reap these benefits in future I am sad yet sure that the education we now seek for all may not lead to these breakthroughs if we do not equally insist that students get quality education without any form of discrimination. Today, some 250 million children cannot read, write or count well. Even those with at least four years in school, this is tantamount to illiteracy and signifies a downturn in the standard of education. Every child deserves education of good quality. Funding education and enrolment theof children in schools is just a first step and will not achieve its purpose in the end if we do not structure proper infrastructure and facilities with adequate books and materials that would aid learning. Students should be taught by well trained and highly motivated teachers to ensure that their stay in school is fulfilling, and the knowledge acquired rescue eventually them, their families and societies from claws of POVERTY. Quality education addresses the challenges of POVERTY.
- Qualitative education transcends the ability to read, write and count properly, it should lead to character transformation that will change your world view, annihilates those negative biases and stereotypes about other people, their cultures, religions, and economic and political views. This type of education strengthen societal bond; it teaches students that it is their duty to reason critically about the problem of the society and put forward suggestion as to how this problem can be solved; it teaches leadership skills, peace-building skills, volunteerism. It helps students unlearn the act of retaliation as a form of dispute resolution. It offers the unique platform for students to learn about human rights, like the right to live, safety from violence, the right to believe and practice the religion a person wants, the right to education, the right to fair trial, the right not to be forced into marriage etc. The UDHR recognizes the aspect of education to humanity and societies, for this reason it states thus, “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms ….) Article 26(2) UDHR.
- Schools are a fertile ground for this aspect of education. It should be entrenched in the curricula at all schooling levels and adapted to the understanding of the students. That is not to say parents, the media and teachers do not have a role to play in this. Experts in these fields have to arrange seminars for teachers from time to time to arm them with the knowledge that underpinned these concepts, then the teacher would in turn impact the knowledge acquired on the students. In the words of Aristotle, “educating the mind without educating the heart is no education.” If we hope to build a stronger and better society, we must equally pay attention to the quality of our education in other to alleviates poverty and hunger.