Can Education Tackle the Poverty Cycle?

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In 2015 the United Nations in a global collaboration presented 17 interlinked challenges that we face around the world. These challenges are known as the 17 goals and are the blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable world for the future of all. Sustainable development goal 1 is No Poverty and Sustainable development goal 4 is Quality Education. To learn more about all 17.

Why are people in a poverty cycle?

In 2013, an estimated 11% of the world’s population lived below the extreme poverty threshold. During my time working in the charity sector it is clear that poverty does form a cycle due to the lack of financial support for the family many opportunities are taken away at an early age. Often children are not able to attend school due to families unable to fund their education fees or simply find the money for a school uniform. We also notice parents bringing children out of education to help with daily family life and often without a quality education many employment opportunities are removed which forms the poverty cycle. 

How does poverty affect education and school attendance?

In short, yes, education is very valuable and important to help build confidence and personal growth as well as provide the skills employers need. However we have found that statistics show families that live on or below the poverty line. There are many reasons why children drop out of education and the biggest factor I see through my work is the need for support at home or with the family business. Other reasons can be the cost of school stationery and uniforms and for girls many drop out due to not affording female sanitary products meaning they are unable to attend school. This is just a few reasons why we see children drop out of school in poorer communities and often there are many other reasons too. However scientific evidence shows us when children miss school their social and educational learning both suffer

How can we break the cycle of poverty?

Breaking down the barriers to help families keep children in school is the answer. It might sound simple but as we have so many different reasons why people dropout of school therefore this can only be achieved in partnership with a number of initiatives and projects. Firstly it is important for projects like Action Change that provides women with menstrual health support to ensure they are not absent from school due to the lack of essential supplies. A Menstrual cup project is a cup that will last up to 10 years and has already shown huge results in Africa. Another initiative is to help provide the educational resources needed and educate parents why keeping children in school can benefit the whole family long term.   

How can you help eliminate poverty? 

There are a number ways to help support the breaking down of the barriers but one very successful way is helping with the action change global project to train teachers. The more skilled teachers available worldwide the better the education system will be and the better the teachers will be at helping identify those students that need help to break barriers to attend school. It seems simple but the only way things will change is by support and empowerment from us all. 

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