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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid