The Educational Solution:

Education is central to development. It empowers people and strengthens nations. It is a powerful “equalizer”, opening doors to all to lift themselves out of poverty. Moreover, education—especially girls’ education—has a direct and proven impact on the goals related to child and reproductive health and environmental sustainability. Education also promotes economic growth, national productivity and innovation, and values of democracy and social cohesion.

Investment in education benefits the individual, society, and the world as a whole. Broad-based education of good quality is among the most powerful instruments known to reduce poverty and inequality. With proven benefits for personal health, it also strengthens nations’ economic health by laying the foundation for sustained economic growth. For individuals and nations, it is key to creating, applying, and spreading knowledge—and thus to the development of dynamic, globally competitive economies. And it is fundamental for the construction of democratic societies.

Benefits to the individual:

Improves health and nutrition:
Education greatly benefits personal health. Particularly powerful for girls, it profoundly affects reproductive health, and also improves child mortality and welfare through better nutrition and higher immunization rates. Education may be the single most effective preventive weapon against HIV/AIDS.

Increases productivity and earnings:
Research has established that every year of schooling increases individual wages for both men and women by a worldwide average of about 10 percent. In poor countries, the gains are even greater.

Benefits to Society:

Drives economic competitiveness:
An educated and skilled workforce is one of the pillars of the knowledge-based economy. Increasingly, comparative advantages among nations come less from natural resources or cheap labor and more from technical innovations and the competitive use of knowledge. Studies also link education to economic growth: education contributes to improved productivity which in theory should lead to higher income and improved economic performance.

Promotes peace and stability:
Peace education—spanning issues of human security, equity, justice, and intercultural understanding— is of paramount importance. Education also reduces crime: poor school environments lead to deficient academic performance, absenteeism, and drop out—precursors of delinquent and violent behavior.

Promotes concern for the environment:
Education can enhance natural resource management and national capacity for disaster prevention and adoption of new, environmentally friendly technologies.

(Courtesy of the World Bank)