SEATTLE — The benefits of education equip individuals of all ages with the skills and knowledge needed to be productive and successful global citizens. Educating citizens within poverty-stricken areas can be an effective way to address and eradicate global poverty.
The following are eight benefits of education that help to combat global poverty:
1. Education Raises Literacy Levels
Illiteracy is a cycle which reinforces long-term poverty levels throughout generations. Individuals living in poverty are often prevented from entering educational settings.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a 12 percent drop in global poverty could be achieved if each student within low-income countries received basic reading and literacy skills by the time they left school.
2. Education Increases Income and Wealth Creation
Increased education levels directly give individuals the necessary skills to increase their income level. Each extra year of schooling a child receives increases that student’s earnings by up to 10 percent, according to UNESCO.
Education also boosts the income levels and amount of food farmers produce on their land by giving them the necessary information to cultivate cash crops or follow other measures that may raise their cultivation levels.
3. Education Helps Reduce Instability and Corruption
According to the Global Partnership for Education, 36 percent of children worldwide who are not receiving education live in areas of conflict. This lack of opportunity damages their ability to find employment once the conflict ceases. Education promotes stable and peaceful societies that are capable of development.
4. Education Promotes Healthier Lives
Education and awareness give individuals the tools they need to take control over their health choices. Education is also important for the containment of communicable diseases.
According to the World Health Service, an individual who has completed a lower secondary school education has poor health 18 percent less than individuals with no education.
Prevention programs help to fight the transmission of diseases within affected communities and reduce mother/infant mortality rates.
UNESCO reported a mother who is literate is 23 percent more likely to give birth with the help of a skilled attendant or midwife. Further, children born to literate mothers are also 50 percent more likely to live past the age of five.
5. Education Empowers Females
The benefits of female education are not limited to childbirth. When women receive educational opportunities they have greater abilities to generate income, their families are healthier, they raise fewer children and get married at older ages, thereby averting child marriages.
Educating mothers is integral for the societies they belong to. Over the last four decades, around four million child deaths have been prevented due to an increase in female education according to a study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation posted in The Lancet journal.
6. Education, Food Security and Nutrition
Poor nutrition affects brain development and the ability to learn for individuals living within poverty stricken areas.
According to UNESCO, 1.7 million fewer children would suffer from stunting, a sign of malnutrition, if all women completed primary education levels. Education also contributes to a more varied diet which reduces the prevalence of malnutrition.
7. Education and the Development of Technical Skills
With increased levels of education, a country’s residents will be more likely to gain knowledge of technical skills creating employment opportunities in fields such as agriculture, construction, technologies and transportation. The development of infrastructure gives children living in remote areas the ability to reach school facilities more easily, raising educational levels within that particular area.
8. Education Boosts Economic Growth
Education promotes and fuels productivity gains that boost economic growth within countries. As reported by the United States Agency for International Development, increasing the average level of education in a country by one year can increase the annual gross domestic product of that nation by half a percentage point.
– Lauren Lewis