Education is often called the great equalizer. It can help people not only survive but also thrive. According to UNESCO estimates, if only all students in low income countries could read, they would be able to escape poverty. We could reduce the global poverty rate in half if all adults finished secondary education.
1. Education and Economic Growth Are Linked
Education is a powerful tool to fight poverty, in part because of its strong link with economic growth. Stanford University’s 2024 study, co-published with Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University, shows that between 1960 and 2000, 75 percent of the global growth in gross national product was due to an increase in math and science skill.
2. Universal Education Can Combat Inequality
Inequality is a major cause of poverty. Systemic barriers of all kinds (including religion, race and caste), serve to compound the marginalization already experienced by those in extreme poverty. Education is a fundamental human right and, when tailored to meet the needs of marginalized groups, can help overcome some of the systemic obstacles that keep them further behind.
3. Education and Lower Infant and Maternal Mortality Rates
Education also leads to healthier mothers and kids when it comes to women. Researchers from the World Bank, International Center for Research on Women and other organizations examined 15 countries in sub Saharan Africa and found that women with higher levels of education tend to have less children and more later in life. It leads to better outcomes, both for the mother and children.
4. Education Can Also Reduce Stunting Rates
More educated mothers also benefit their children. Education has been linked to lower stunting in several reports. Stunting is one of the effects of malnutrition. Stunting in childhood is a risk factor for many developmental problems.
5. Education Can Reduce HIV and AIDS Vulnerability…
Researchers from Harvard University and Imperial College London wrote in 2008: “There are increasing numbers of studies that show keeping girls in education reduces the risk of them contracting HIV.” The relationship between education and HIV has evolved over time. Education is now associated with a reduced risk of HIV infection.
Since then, this correlation has grown even stronger. Right programs in schools can reduce not only the risk of young people getting HIV or AIDS but also the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
6. And Vulnerability to Climate Change and Natural Disasters
Climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events. Education plays a crucial role in reducing risk and vulnerability to these events. In a 2014 issue of Ecology and Society, it is stated: “Highly educated individuals have a better understanding of earthquake risk… and they are more likely than others to prepare for disasters …. Education can lead to reducing vulnerability.”
The article’s authors went on to say that people who are educated and living through a natural catastrophe often have a greater financial safety net, more information about how to prepare for disasters, and a larger social network to support each other.
7. Education Reduces Domestic Violence and Community Violence
In the same report by the World Bank and ICRW that shows the link between maternal health and education, it also reveals how each year of additional secondary education reduces the likelihood of child marriage – defined as getting married before age 18. The same report by the World Bank and ICRW that showed a link between education and maternal health also revealed that each additional year of secondary education reduced the chances of child marriage — defined as being married before age 18.
Girls with a complete education are more likely to be aware of the negative aspects of FGM and other traditional practices, and to know their rights, and how to defend them at home and in their community.
Education for All
Concern’s mission is based on the belief that every child has a right to an education of high quality. Our work to promote education reached more than 676,000 kids last year. More than half of these students were female.
Our education programs are integrated into our emergency and development work in order to provide children in extreme poverty with more opportunities and support their well-being. Concern has provided quality education in villages off the grid. It has also engaged community leaders to help keep girls in class and trained teachers.