SEATTLE — It seems to be a widely accepted idea that education combats poverty. Is this true? How does education combat poverty? What is the evidence for this phenomenon? Below is a list of ten ways that indicate that education helps combat poverty.
1) Twelve percent of global poverty would be eliminated if all children in low income countries received basic reading skills. There seems to be a direct link between education and poverty reduction.
2) Countries that provide education more equally to all citizens have a 23 percent higher GDP. Equality in education seems to be important to raise the GDP and possibly reduce poverty.
3) Furthermore, each additional year of schooling raises the GDP of a country by .37 percent.
4) Education also increases crop yields. This could decrease hunger in low income countries. For example, in Kenya crop yields could increase by up to 22 percent if women had the same education on farming practices as men do.
5) The child of a mother who can read is 50 percent more likely to live beyond the age of five. There is a correlation between a reduction of childhood mortality and education.
6) In addition, if all women received primary education, there would be a reduction of maternal deaths by 66 percent. There seems to also be a correlation between a reduction of maternal mortality and education.
7) Education can also help improve public health in low income countries. For example, Botswana began an HIV/AIDS awareness program in 2006. The percent of young people who knew about HIV and AIDS rose from 28 percent to 45 percent. The HIV infection rate was cut in half between 2001 and 2009.
8) When people are educated about family planning options, they have fewer children. For example, Iran educated its citizens about family planning options. Consequently, the family size in Iran dropped from an average of 7 children per household to 3 children per household.
9) Additionally, women with more education are likely to have fewer children. This could reduce the amount of people living in poverty.
10) People who receive more education are also more likely to participate in government. In low income countries, this could mean that people could be more likely to improve their lives through government initiatives.
Education is not the only way to combat global poverty. Even so, education can have a profound impact on the reduction of poverty and the quality of life of people living in poverty. For these reasons, education should continue to be a way that we combat global poverty.
– Ella Cady
Sources: EFA Report 1, EFA Report 2, Global Partnership, Global Poverty Project, The Guardian, UN,
Photo: Partners of the Americas