August is the month of school supplies shopping. We are so used to buying textbooks and notebooks as if this is a normal activity to do. However, not all children could afford school, not to mention school supplies. Globally, over 265 million children are currently out of school — 22% are of primary school age. But we can improve this.
Giving access to education affects Economic Growth, Women’s Empowerment, War Losses Recovery thus Reduce Poverty.
Here are 3 reasons why I believe education could improve poverty
1. Economic Growth & Labor Force
Vietnam has been through decades of war and suffered from many long-lasting effects on its economy. By 1990, Vietnam was one of the poorest countries in the world, with its GDP per capita of $98. However, Vietnam has transformed itself by 2010, with GDP reached $1,000.
Now, it is categorized as a lower-middle-income country (by World Bank). At the same time, with the huge economic transformation, the Vietnamese government put many funds in the education field; the country also made changes in the education system, causing its GDP to increase dramatically.
So, the question is: What was the role of education in Vietnam’s economic growth?
When more children attend schools where they could develop their academic and interpersonal skills, more job opportunities await them. That also means the government has improved the labor force’s quality. As a result, people get more jobs that have pay higher, especially when people could be categorized as skilled labor. For example, in California, higher education in Math would lead to a $25,000 yearly increase in wages.
As people’s income increase, more goods and products are demanded (basic economics). To keep up with their customers’ needs, companies demand more employees, thus creating more jobs.
In fact, statistics show that in 2050, GDP per capita in low-income countries would be almost 70% lower than it would be if all children were learning. This strongly emphasizes the direct connection between education and economic growth.
2. Women Empowerment
Education is powerful, especially for girls.
For years, we have seen many feminist campaigns fighting for gender inequality, wage gap, feminism around the world. The problem of ensuring women’s rights has not, indeed, been solved. More importantly, this topic has been seriously addressed in many cultures and countries, such as India.
But how does empowering women might help the economy?
2.A: Decrease Gender Inequality
When gender inequality is taught in schools, there is likely to be a ripple effect on how women are treated in their communities. There is no global issue that could be solved after some protests. The problem with gender inequality is that it has already been rooted in our minds for generations. For that reason, the only way to improve this is by early education.
When girls are welcomed to go to schools and boys learn how and why to respect females, young girls could learn skills, abilities and grow with an independent mindset during their formative years – the foundation for lifelong learning. Many small children are not allowed to get a quality education because their families have a conservative mindset that marriage is more important for females.
Everyone has the right to education, and girls have the same right to go to school as boys. Moreover, educated young women are more likely to make wise choices from a wider range of offered options. They could become whatever they dreamt of: doctors, businesswomen, lawyers, etc. With educated girls joining the labor force, the nation’s productivity increases, which fuels economic growth.
2.B: Decrease Infant Mortality Rate
You might find the infant mortality rate unrelated at first, but it actually directly connected with overpopulation and poverty issues.
If all women in poverty finished primary school, then the child mortality rate would reduce by almost 17%
(1 million newborns saved annually)
Pregnancy is risky to both the mother and the child. Statistics show that educated women could recognize dangerous symptoms when pregnant and seek support in time. In fact, a child with a mother who had been to school is 50% more likely to live past their fifth birthday. As long as women have substantial knowledge about their bodies and childbirth, the infant mortality rate could be decreased.
In many cultures, a family might pressure the mother to give birth to more children if her child passed away. If more children safely survived, families would no longer feel the need to expand their families’ sizes. People would have more income and resources to cover expenses, thus reducing poverty.
For example, uneducated sub-Saharan African women have 6.7 births on average, but those who had finished secondary education have 3.9 births.
3. War Losses Recovery
If you regularly updated yourself with global news, you certainly know people and children are still suffering from wars while reading this post. Instead of doing homework, millions of children live in fear, wondering if they might survive through the day. Even when wars are ended, it is never easy for anyone to recover from the losses quickly. But knowledge is power and hope.
Do you recognize this picture?
The Syrian conflict has threatened millions of lives of Syrian refugees children. Could you imagine how much trauma and crises they have gone through?
In situations like war and pandemics, the barrier to education is even harder to break. Many children are suffering from war losses; for example, Syrian children are still unrecovered from the horrors of war.
Many organizations in the world opened classrooms to help kids feel safe again. With schooling, children could rebuild social skills lost through war traumas. It will allow them to rebuild some of the social skills lost through trauma. As they study, they could get back a sense of connection with the community. Gradually, this new generation will grow and have a better future.
At Project Sprouts, we realize that we can not solve all the problems of poverty in a situation like this. But we can seek to make a difference in the lives of needy children by giving them school supplies and encouraging them to continue their education; we can give them winter coats, boots, and blankets to help them stay warm during the cold winter months.
Project Sprouts would love to have you be a part of our community and help us to help worthy children in North Vietnam. We cannot solve all the world’s problems, but we can do our part to help poor kids grow by giving school supplies, winter coats, boots, and other supplies.
You can find out more about Project Sprouts by clicking here or go to our give now page to donate by clicking here. As we are a grassroots organization, all funds go to help those in need.
Why Poverty Is Like A Disease And How We Can Cure It?
Poverty is a mindset that is taught for multi-generation in a household. The state of being poor is fearful, “transmissible,” but also preventable – just like a disease. To help unfortunate souls escape being trapped in poverty, we teach by giving them tools – education.
You can find out more by reading Why Poverty Is Like A Disease And How We Can Cure It? by clicking here.
11 Facts About Vietnamese Education and Poverty
The world is developing more these days; many countries can provide their citizens with a good opportunity for education. Vietnam is one of the developing countries globally that has made great progress in both the economy and many other fields such as technology and public health. However, there are still various poor areas in Vietnam where residents suffer from poverty and hunger.