Children who grow up in poverty and inequality are denied their fundamental rights; a right as essential as the right to education. While developed countries have educational support programs and excellent public schools to ensure that children are provided with free education, the developing world has been far behind with its resources and policies.
The problem arises in the developing world, where gender and social inequality play a pivotal role in determining whether a child can attend school. Girls often have a harder time going to school; it’s common for young girls to be married off before they can even attend school. Even if they aren’t married off, families often think boys should go to school instead of girls. If there’s only enough money for one child to go to school, families usually choose their sons.
In countries like Pakistan, Sudan, Niger, and Bangladesh, where child labor and bonded labor are prevalent, children often have no choice but to form part of the workforce from a very early age.
Why Is It Important To Focus On Education In The Third World?
Making education available to everyone is extremely important if we want to get rid of poverty and help people live better lives. Right now, there are about 244 million kids who are not able to go to school. These are kids between the ages of 6 and 16 who should have the right to learn.
Education is like a powerful tool that can help make things fair for everyone. It can slowly and carefully make things more equal for people who have less.
When we educate someone who doesn’t have a lot of opportunities, we’re giving them the ability to take care of themselves and not rely on others. It also means they can give their own kids a better life in the future. Education helps them think for themselves and not be held back by the beliefs and customs that might be holding them down.
Public Schools – An Education Support System?
Yes, not all public schools are able to provide a good education for everyone.
Even though there are public schools in every small district and town, many of them have problems that make it hard for students to learn. There aren’t enough teachers, and the ones who are there often don’t have enough training.
The schools also lack basic things like clean water, chairs, and desks. Because of these issues, only about 60% of kids are able to finish their education, and some even stop as early as grade 5.
So, to sum it up, public schools have not been able to support the education of underprivileged students. This failure has led to more poverty, social inequality, child labor, and even child prostitution.
Poverty And Education – How Are They Linked?
To eradicate poverty in a society, you need to provide educational support programs and a solid education system for all, especially the underprivileged. A child who unwillingly has to work as a laborer can instead go to school and get a good education with the help of a support system: better schools, better facilities, and trained teachers.
Having an education is the key to a better job and a better life. Not only will they be able to alleviate poverty, but they will also improve their living standards through their minds and skills learned. That also means an increase in economic activity leading to further economic development in the country.
Personal Growth – Does Education Play A Part?
Social taboos, cultural restraints, gender inequality, and all kinds of social evils are a direct result of the lack of education and the inability of the masses to understand the underlying issues. From bonded labor to female genital mutilation to sexual violence, these social evils are evident in the underprivileged section of developing countries. Very few educated people understand the deadly implications of such practices.
So yes, education is necessary to differentiate between good and evil, expand the vision and outlook toward life, be mindful, and adopt reforms. Without a decent support system, it is difficult for things to change.
The education of girls!
“In countries where there is poverty, civil war, that have massive population booms, and that are prey to radicalization, the common factor is female illiteracy, the under-education of women and girls.”
Although education is not at the top of the menu in a poor household, it is sometimes not an option for girls. Sadly, the patriarchy dictates who gets to have the right to education. And suppose the family can afford the school fee of one child. In that case, it is primarily the sons who get the opportunity.
Equal access to education for girls can have a tremendous impact if governments prioritize and ensure it reaches the education system, which can do wonders for their families and the economy.
If all the girls are to receive primary education, it can save around 1.7 million children from poverty-induced malnutrition. Providing secondary education will save another 3 million children from their deaths.
Child And Bonded Labor
Something as sad as child labor is a persistent issue in developing countries. Despite the laws criminalizing such practices, it continues to happen.
One of the primary reasons for this is that underprivileged families have no choice but to make their children work to make ends meet. Sadly, education would only require more money that they do not have.
One such personality to break the shackles of bonded labor and rise to the top was Iqbal Masih – a child laborer turned activist, full of courage, hope, and resilience. His story brings tears to whoever hears it, as he was the ray of hope for all children suffering at the hands of child labor.
It is here where states are responsible for introducing special programs and systems to promote the child’s best interest. Providing quality education to children from these families can help reduce the systemic issue to some extent.
What Can You Do?
The government’s failure has resulted in NGOs taking up the responsibility to create awareness and spread education among the children whose parents cannot afford the school fee. From providing uniforms to course material, the NGOs do all.
You can donate to reliable NGOs or work as a volunteer teacher to play your part. The impact you will create will last generations!
Education is the most fundamental right in every treaty and charter. However, impoverished children are not receiving the support they need due to the government’s failure to implement effective policies. Improper public schools, lack of basic facilities, and lack of support and scholarship programs only add to the problem.
One can only hope for a better future for all humans, but most importantly for children, who form the purest sector of the human race.