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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid