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Education Around the World: Things You Didn’t Know

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Education is definitely the key to a better future. Governments around the world are trying hard to improve their education systems to ensure that every child regardless of their age, race, physical abilities, social status and financial standing has access to quality education. Unfortunately, the country’s wealth has a lot to do with the amount of money spent on education. Countries that cannot provide their people with such basic amenities as cold and hot running water and food, usually are unable to offer even the early form of schooling.

We are taught to believe that only the poorest and most underdeveloped African countries face problems like this. You will be surprised to learn that many people in European and Asian countries have the same difficulties. Here are some interesting facts about the education around the world you might have never heard before:

One in five adults in developing countries such as India, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Sri Lanka, and almost all African countries cannot read or write. That makes the total of 862 million people.

Currently, over 115 million children of primary school age are not enrolled in school. Another 226 million children around the world do not attend secondary school. Among those 53% of the out-of-school children are girls. Women make for two-thirds of the illiterate people in the world.

Statistically, women who have no access to education are less likely to make healthy decisions about their life. Thus, for example, women in Mali and some other African countries who have attended school and had any form of professional training usually have 3 or fewer children, while their uneducated counterparts have an average of 7 children.

Statistics say, in developing countries that have a very low income, every additional year of education increases a person’s potential income by an average of 10 %.

Another interesting fact is that although boys are more likely to begin school, they also have more chances to repeat grades or drop out. Additionally, children who live in a rural area are twice more likely to be out of school than children living in an urban environment.

The literacy rates among the youth in Europe and South America are among the highest with about 90% of young people being literate. In Africa, however, there are areas with less than 50 % literacy among children aged under 18.

So, what are the main reasons for children missing out on their education around the world?

  • Children are often made to work to help support their families or babysit their younger siblings.
  • They are recruited to become child soldiers.
  • Families do not have the money to pay for their children’s schooling. School fees and other related costs usually create a barrier to education. These fees are a big burden for children from low-income families, and mostly affect those of racial and ethnic minorities and migrants.
  • Discrimination and racism. Social traditions and religious and cultural beliefs turn out to be the main barriers on the ways of expanding girls’ educational opportunities in many Arab countries.



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