Keys to ending poverty through education

Education is a key piece to achieve equal opportunities, however, although education is a right of all children, in many parts of the world they drop out of school and start working from an early age to help their family financially and that situation perpetuates poverty. But, if they were given access to education, they could be trained and able to work in better-qualified, higher-paid jobs with which they could lift themselves out of poverty.

Worldwide, 258 million children are out of school. Their right to education is not being respected. Many of them belong to ethnic minorities, live in poverty, are in a conflict zone or have a disability. In today’s post we want to analyze how the education of children can help to get out of poverty and achieve a future of societies in which equality prevails.

Education as a sustainable development goal

Education is essential to lift themselves out of poverty, but many children have not yet reached the minimum standards of reading and mathematics proficiency. For this reason, quality education has been established as one of the sustainable development goals. In particular, several targets have been set for education by 2030:

  • That all children complete primary and secondary education and that it be free, equitable and of quality.
  • That gender disparity in education disappears and that there is equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for vulnerable people.
  • That all young people and a large proportion of adults, both men and women, are literate and numeracy.
  • That the supply of qualified teachers be increased.

Keys for education to contribute to ending poverty

Poverty is not the result of a low level of income, but of people’s lack of knowledge that prevents them from achieving more qualified job opportunities. The increase in the level of education is essential to reduce inequalities in the following generations and to achieve this, the following keys must be considered:
1. Expand access to education. Inequality in access to education is related to economic status, place of residence (e.g. a family living in a rural environment is more difficult to access education, compared to a family living in an urban area), country of origin, sex, race, caste or ethnicity. Education is a fundamental human right, but it is conditioned to external aspects that influence the possibility of the youngest to attend school. In this sense, according to UNESCO data, rich families are 7 times more likely to complete secondary school than those of poor families.
2. Promote free education. Free education allows children to access education with equal opportunities, however, according to data from the Global Education Monitoring Report, only 1/3 of the countries in the world have provided in their laws that there is at least one year of free education. In this sense, there must be an effort by governments to allocate enough money in budgets to finance free education. But it is not only about financing education but all the associated costs (transport, canteen, school supplies, etc.). Contributing to the education of citizens will mean that inequalities will be reduced in the future and the country’s productivity will increase. Therefore, investing in education is investing in a better future.
3. Improve the quality of education. For quality education, it is essential to improve teacher training, the possibility of accessing learning tools (books, notebooks, technology, etc.), the increase in the number of teachers and their adequate remuneration.

4. Contribute to access to better paid jobs. More educated people can access better-paid jobs and thus lift themselves out of poverty. In addition, training is a key point for the economic growth of each country and for innovation.
5. Promote equality. The school can become the place where boys and girls from different socioeconomic situations live together. In this way, they can relate to different people, make friends and understand the importance of equality in a world where we are all different.
6. Close the gender gap. The higher the educational level of women, the closer they are to the wages that men receive for the same work. Equality between men and women can be achieved through education in values such as respect. In addition, a higher educational level of women contributes to better health of women and their children when they are mothers and, in addition, child deaths are reduced.

Sétou’s case: going back to school to change her life


Sétou is an example of how education can help lift people out of poverty and have a better future. At the age of 16, she was forced to marry a 54-year-old man and dropped out of school, as well as her hometown. She found work as a maid in the city, but had a 16-hour day, no day off and received a salary of 12 euros a month. We learned about Sétou’s case from her mother and helped her get back to school. We provide you with books, backpack, pens, notebooks and uniforms. In addition, we trained Sétou’s mother so that she could generate income for the family. In this way both have a perspective of the future with more hope.

Related Posts