Education and the Developing World

July 18, 2005

All children around the world have the right to an education. Investing in education is not just the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do. Why? Because education gives people the skills they need to help themselves out of poverty and into prosperity.

  • Better health: With education, people are far better able to prevent disease and to use health services effectively. For example, young people who have completed primary education are less than half as likely to contract HIV as those who have little or no schooling.
  • Higher wages and economic growth: In many poor countries, people with just one additional year of schooling earn 10% higher wages. These earnings in turn contribute to national economic growth. No country has ever achieved continuous and rapid growth without reaching an adult literacy rate of at least 40%.
  • Democracy and political stability: Education supports the growth of civil society, democracy, and political stability, allowing people to know their rights and acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to exercise them.

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