News / Africa

Study Reveals Economic Impact of Uneducated Children

FILE - Children get ready to enter a class room in Yakouta, Burkina Faso. FILE - Children get ready to enter a class room in Yakouta, Burkina Faso.
x
FILE - Children get ready to enter a class room in Yakouta, Burkina Faso.
FILE - Children get ready to enter a class room in Yakouta, Burkina Faso.

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
A study conducted by Results for Development Institute (R4D), revealed that out-of-school children of primary age significantly impact the economic growth of developing countries.

The Washington-based NGO conducted the study in response to what they said is a worrying trend in global education.  They found that there are 57 million children of primary school age who are not enrolled – with most living in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. 

Milan Thomas, a program associate for R4D, stated although promising strides have been made in reducing the number of out of school children, progress has slowed down in recent years.  

“The benefits associated with primary education are really undisputed at this point because there are countless studies showing that children who complete basic education tend to enjoy better health and higher incomes over their lifetimes," he said. "But, at R4D we feel that even for old policy questions with established answers, there are always new and compelling ways of presenting evidence to galvanize action.”

He pointed out that it was in this spirit that his organization led off its research with the question, “what is the estimated cost of a country’s out–of-school children?”  In finding the answer, he said out of school children should be considered an untapped source of economic growth.

“So what our methodology does is we value the cost of out-of-school children in terms of loss of economic output," Thomas said. "We use data from UNESCO Institute for Statistics, as well as studies in developing labor markets to estimate the loss that 20 developing countries will suffer if strong measures are not taken to remedy the under-education of their children.”

The researcher pointed out that another big twist to their study is that it also took into account the earnings that out-of-school children will forego because their exclusion from basic education precludes their access to higher education.

Thomas said the research also found it is far more expensive in sub-Saharan to have children out of school than to educate them. He said on average the cost of out-of-school children dwarfs the spending required to achieve universal primary education by a ratio of five to one.  Furthermore, he explained the cost of such children exceeds the value of a full year’s average economic growth for five of the countries in the study sample:  Ivory Coast, The Gambia, Mali, Senegal and Yemen.

What this means for example is, “for a country like Senegal, where the cost of out-of-school children is nearly 8 percent of their GDP—it takes a two-year stunting of its economic trajectory, if it does not educate this generation's out-of-school population.” 

In another example he cited, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children, numbering at 10 million children.  Thomas pointed out this equals 42 percent of primary age children not in school in the country.

“What does this translate to according to our study, Nigeria will lose a full one percent of its GDP in ten years when its children will enter the labor force, and that is equivalent to nearly $3 billion,” explained Thomas.

He said he hopes the detailed research will be used by local governments and policy makers to make a final push to achieve universal primary education.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid