How Does Education Affect Poverty?

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SEATTLE — How does education affect poverty? Education can eradicate poverty if given the chance; those in poverty can only benefit from education. People living in poverty that are unable to attain a formal education have a harder time escaping their living and working conditions. The right education can lift people from poverty and improve their lives financially, physically and mentally.

For many countries there is free public education, however, there are additional costs for uniforms, books or transportation. In rural areas, children may travel up to an hour each way to get to school via a public bus. These expenses can be overwhelming for low-income families. Sometimes the families are forced to pull children from school in order for them to work to support the family.

The problem with taking children out of school to work is that it results in an education that was cut short if it even began at all and does not allow for a child to further their career because they lack the literacy and numerical information to excel forward.

Poverty is more that simply not having enough money. Poverty affects other aspects of life including education. But having an education can alleviate some of the problems faced in poverty. How does education affect poverty?

Education improves food security and reduces malnutrition.  By educating citizens on agriculture and farming techniques they become capable to growing and selling their own food. This creates a source of income as well as healthy living. Education improves standards of health. Literacy allows women to read about prenatal vitamins, and other health information during pregnancy. Families can learn about the importance of drinking clean water and safely preparing food.

Education reduces the spread of communicable diseases that plague poverty stricken areas. When a community does not understand how a disease is spread it can catch like wildfire infecting many people. But through education children and families can learn how to protect themselves against life-taking illnesses like HIV/AIDS and Ebola. Education improves gender equity. By allowing girls to be educated they are empowered to make their own decisions in life and it can cut the rates of early marriage and pregnancies.

During the beginning of a child’s life, they need to develop cognitive, emotional and social foundations strong enough to support a future, making early childhood education immensely important for the growth of a child. While early childhood education is important so too is adult education. Everyone benefits from a good education regardless of age or previous education level.

How does education affect poverty? Education creates development, free thinking citizens and better health and well-being. A good education can provide a lifetime of opportunities. Providing an education allows people living in poverty to think outside of only wondering when the next meal might be. An education can drastically improve the quality of life for those living in poverty. An education in agriculture might provide both food security and a source of income for a family or even an entire community. Providing an education for the poverty stricken allows them to provide for themselves in the future.

Karyn Adams

Photo: Flickr

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About Author

Karyn Adams

Karyn lives in Erie, Pennsylvania. She studied Communications, Creative Writing and Spanish Language at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. Karyn studied abroad in Melbourne, Australia where she boxed with a kangaroo (and lost). After graduation she moved to Madrid, Spain and taught English in a primary school.

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